SANTA CLARA – Starting tight end Vance McDonald will not be available Sunday for the 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys.
McDonald was one of the 49ers’ seven inactive players announced 90 minutes prior to kickoff due to a hip injury. Backup tight end Garrett Celek is expected to start.
McDonald and Celek were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to injuries sustained last week against the Seattle Seahawks. McDonald played only 10 snaps before sustaining a hip injury that sidelined him. Celek took a big hit to his back but returned to action.
Cornerback Jimmie Ward is inactive. He sustained a right quad strain that is expected to keep him out of action for multiple weeks. Keith Reaser or Rashard Robinson will replace him in the starting lineup.
The Cowboys will be without their top play-maker in the passing game, wide receiver Dez Bryant, due to a hairline fracture of his right knee. Bryant sustained the injury on the second play in the Cowboys' 31-17 victory Sunday night over the Chicago Bears as he was tackled after an 11-yard gain.
Bryant had an injury-plagued 2015 season after sustaining a foot fracture in the opening game of the season. Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014.
The Cowboys will also be without left tackle Tyron Smith and left guard La’el Collins, as well as starting cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
The 49ers on Saturday promoted tight end Je’Ron Hamm off the practice squad to be eligible for the game. The 49ers released running back DuJuan Harris to make room for Hamm.
Hamm, 24, spent time one game on the 49ers’ 53-man roster last season but did not appear in any games. He saw action in one game with Washington but did not catch a pass.
McDonald has five receptions in three games for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Celek has five catches for 52 yards. The 49ers' only other tight end is second-year player Blake Bell, who has one reception for 6 yards.
QB Christian Ponder
WR Keshawn Martin
CB Jimmie Ward
DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
TE Vance McDonald
OT John Theus
DL Taylor Hart
QB Tony Romo
WR Dez Bryant
CB Orlando Scandrick
RB Darius Jackson
LB Mark Nzeocha
LG La’el Collins
LT Tyron Smith