Defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been ruled out for the San Francisco 49ers when they go to New Orleans to play the Saints on Sunday.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, McDonald was officially listed as “out” on the 49ers injury report on Friday. He sprained an ankle last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Tony Jerod-Eddie played 40 snaps against Carolina and is expected to make the first start of his two-year career against the Saints. It’s likely we’ll also see more of Demarcus Dobbs as part of the interior defensive line rotation.
In other news on the injury front, tight end Vernon Davis and safety Eric Reid continued to make their way through the league’s concussion protocol after both were knocked out of Sunday’s game. The players were still in non-contact jerseys at practice, but then hit each other in a drill as part of the testing protocol.
Both were optimistic afterward about their chances for being cleared to play.
“I’m fine,” Davis said. “I’m not really worried about anything.”
Reid also said he’s optimistic.
“We obviously weren’t trying to kill each other, but we got the point of the drill accomplished,” Reid said. “I’ve been feeling good. We’ll see what they say tomorrow.”
Davis’ is particularly important, given that backup tight end Garrett Celek missed practice again Friday and is doubtful for the Saints game with a hamstring injury.
One player we can expect to see a lot more of this week is linebacker Aldon Smith. Smith returned last week, but played just 12 snaps against Carolina after being away from the team for five weeks while in treatment for alcohol abuse.
“He’s ready this week to play a lot and he will play a lot,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. (h/t National Football Post)
Also from the National Football Post, running back Marcus Lattimore is expected to begin practicing with the team next week. The rookie from South Carolina suffered a major knee injury last October, tearing his anterior cruciate, lateral collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee.
He was a fourth-round pick by the 49ers, but is not expected to gain clearance to play until 2014.