SANTA CLARA -- Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey's surgically repaired biceps is expected to keep him out 3 1/2 months, making him the 49ers' prime candidate to receive their injured reserve/designated-for-return tag, coach Jim Harbaugh said.
"As an organization, we'd like to see that happen," Harbaugh said Friday.
Dorsey would be ineligible to play the first eight weeks of the season if he receives that designation. Linebacker Nick Moody drew the tag last season after sustaining a Week 1 hand fracture, and he was activated Nov. 12.
Dorsey signed a two-year contract extension Wednesday, reportedly worth $8.7 million over the next three seasons with a $2.1 million signing bonus.
Dorsey underwent surgery Aug. 4. "They got in there and felt it could not go better," Harbaugh said. "There were no frayed (tendons). It was a real good surgery. That was the talk going in, would he be back 3 1/2 months or four or longer? All indications I've gotten is that it would be 3 1/2 months he'd be out."
That timeline puts Dorsey's return likely after the Oct. 26 bye, as early as a Nov. 2 home game against the St. Louis Rams.
While Harbaugh said "there's a very good chance" Dorsey gets the designated-for-return tag, he cautioned that "there's still things that could happen," such as an injury to another significant player or a setback in Dorsey's rehab.