SANTA CLARA -- It's all-hands-on-deck time for the 49ers when it comes to defensive linemen these days. Anyone and everyone is a candidate to play.
That's the result of starting defensive linemen Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Glenn Dorsey being so banged up that they can't even practice, as was the case Wednesday.
So it was that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio refused to rule out anyone in regard to Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.
The 49ers already are without Ian Williams, who started the season as the nose tackle but now is on season-ending injured reserve.
Now Smith (shoulder), McDonald (biceps) and Dorsey (hamstring) are nursing injuries serious enough to cost them practice time.
Dorsey stepped in for Williams. Second-year player Tony Jerod-Eddie is in line to make his first NFL start if Dorsey doesn't heal well enough between now and Sunday.
Practice squad player Mike Purcell is another candidate to join the defensive line rotation.
The fact Purcell participated in the team's offseason workouts and training camp makes him more experienced than fellow rookie defensive linemen Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine, Fangio said.
Fangio said Purcell is "ready to go if needed," as well as possessing the versatility to play nose tackle and defensive end.
Dial and Carradine practiced for the first time Tuesday. Therefore, their stamina is a concern if they are activated from the non-football-injury list and placed on the 53-man active roster.
Fangio said Dial looked good in practice Wednesday and that he might be a tad ahead of Carradine right now, if only because his injury wasn't as severe.
"They got to show it on the field," Fangio said of Dial and Carradine, "that they know what to do, rather than (just in) the meeting room. They're in the process of doing that."