Injury Plagued Defensive Line an Obstacle for San Francisco 49ers

Coming into week 7 of the NFL season the San Francisco 49ers defense seems to finally be clicking. The early season struggles of the defense led to the leagues worst rush defense through three weeks as they gave up 139 yards per game. They have gotten it down to 112.8 yards per game, a number that is inflated next to years past. The defense has endured some big injuries or suspensions already in the season.

With OLB Aldon Smith likely not back this season after checking into rehab and being charged with felony weapon charges, the 49ers defense will need to find a way to generate pressure. Patrick Willis has missed time with a fractured hand but is back in the starting lineup now. Unlike the linebacker core the defensive line unit has taken some big hits. Starting nose tackle Ian Williams was lost for the year after suffering a broken ankle in week 2 as a result of a cut-block. Defensive end Ray McDonald is playing hurt with a partially torn bicep and now nose tackle Glenn Dorsey injured his hamstring in week 6.

The injury to Dorsey is going to force third string nose tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie to play an increased amount of minutes. Jerod-Eddie has a total of seven tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery and one pass defended. In the small sample size of playing time that we have seen of Jerod-Eddie he has shown us that he has a knack for finding the ball. The interception that he had looked almost natural as he faked the rush and dropped back to pick it off. It's plays like these that will help the defensive line get around the injuries that they are dealing with. It doesn't matter if they give up 80 yards on a drive, a timely turnover can help any defense's cause to help win a game. If Jerod-Eddie can continue to produce turnovers he will be a very welcome addition to a hurting defense.

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