The San Francisco 49ers on Friday ruled out two defensive starters for Sunday’s game at the New York Giants -- nose tackle Ian Williams, who has a lower left leg injury (the team is referring to it as a fibula), and nickel back Jimmie Ward, the team’s first-round draft pick, who injured his right foot last weekend at New Orleans.
Williams suffered a broken left ankle last season in the second game and was lost for the year while Ward had a Jones fracture in his right foot that required surgery in March.
Quinton Dial or Tony Jerod-Eddie could start at nose tackle, though the Niners could also activate Glenn Dorsey off the short-term Injured Reserve list, though a roster move would have to be made (Williams to IR is a possibility).
Also, neither cornerback Tramaine Brock nor rookie receiver/returner Bruce Ellington practiced all week, though both were listed as questionable. Perrish Cox figures to move to the slot in nickel packages as well as return punts of Ellington is inactive. Carlos Hyde returned kickoffs after Ellington left last week’s game.
Linebacker Dan Skuta, who had been starting at an outside linebacker position for the suspended Aldon Smith, practiced limited for the second straight day (Smith’s nine-game suspension is served in full now, but the Niners would have to make a roster move to get him on the 53-man roster as the team was granted a roster exemption this week for practice), and defensive end Ray McDonald was upgraded from limited practice on Thursday to full participation on Friday.
Following is the 49ers’ status report for Sunday’s game against the Giants:
OUT: DB Jimmie Ward (foot), DT Ian Williams (fibula)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), LB Dan Skuta (ankle)