For much of the season, the 49ers had been hoping that two key members of their defense, linebacker NaVorro Bowman and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, would return from injury and help the squad make a run to the postseason. Those hopes ended today, as the team announced that they have placed the duo on the season-ending injured reserve. To the take their spots on the roster, the team promoted cornerback Marcus Cromartie and guard Andrew Tiller from the practice squad.
Bowman was activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list earlier this week after having suffered a knee injury during last year’s playoffs. However, there was some skepticism regarding the linebacker’s return this season. The two-time Pro Bowler had his best statistical season in 2013, finishing with 145 tackles, five sacks, six forced fumbles, and two interceptions.
Dorsey had been activated from the IR-DTR in mid-November, but he never made it on the field as he continued to recover from a biceps injury. The former fifth-overall pick started 13 games for the 49ers last season, and Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) ranked him 26th among 151 defensive tackles. He was ultimately rewarded for his efforts, as the team handed him a two-year extension in August.
Cromartie spent his entire 2013 rookie campaign in the Chargers organization, and he joined the 49ers in November. Tiller, a former sixth-round pick by the Saints, signed with San Francisco in October.