SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Given a few extra days to recover after a Thursday night loss to Arizona, the San Francisco 49ers are holding out hope that rookie defensive tackle DeForest Buckner will be able to return from a foot injury on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
"It sounds like it’s a day-by-day thing," coach Chip Kelly said. "So, we’re hopeful to get him back this week and we’ll see where he is from that standpoint. Again, he was another guy, because of the injury just with the short week, I don’t think we would have been and obviously we weren’t able to get him up to speed for a Thursday deal. But hopefully we think here with these 10 days off, you know, it’ll be two weeks from the Dallas game will be the Buffalo game. So, hopefully we’ll be able to get Buck back in the mix on the defensive line.”
Buckner suffered the foot injury in the loss to Dallas but was unable to play against the Cardinals just four nights later. He wore a walking boot and used crutches for part of the week but had made progress by later in the week.
Getting Buckner back would be helpful for a defense that's leaned heavily on him in the first part of the season. Buckner was playing more snaps than any Niners defensive lineman before the injury.
Speaking of the defensive line, San Francisco is also aiming for a return for nose tackle Glenn Dorsey this week. Dorsey had returned from a knee injury a couple of weeks ago but was honest with the coaching staff when asked how he was holding up after the game, so he was also held out against Arizona.
“I think it was the short week," Kelly said. "We obviously monitored Glenn and he’ll tell us exactly where we are. He’s the ultimate professional and he just didn’t feel he was going to give us, be able to give us, a good enough effort. So, I think that’s one of the tough things when you transition and play a short week is sometimes guys like that that are coming off of injuries that are a little bit older, it’s a difficult deal. I would imagine if we had a chance to play, if it was a Sunday-to-Sunday deal, that Glenn would probably be ready by the time we got to Sunday. But, we’re usually very cautious with him at the beginning of the week, and then as we get going during it, he can get going."
Aside from Buckner and Dorsey, the Niners were also monitoring injuries to cornerback Chris Davis (knee), linebacker Tank Carradine (toe) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (stinger, quad). Davis appeared to have the most serious of those issues as he was on crutches leaving the locker room again on Friday. The Niners said they did not believe Tartt's injury to be too serious.