UPDATE (12:21 p.m. on Friday) -- The 49ers announced that they have promoted nose tackle Mike Purcell from the practice squad to the 53-man active roster.
SANTA CLARA – Nose tackle Mike Purcell will be promoted to the 49ers’ 53-man roster to take the place of Ray McDonald, whom the 49ers released on Wednesday, coach Jim Harbaugh said.
“Mike Purcell would be the next option,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll do a good job.”
Defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie will take over in the starting lineup for McDonald, Harbaugh said. The 49ers released McDonald after the San Jose Police Department named him as a suspect in an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.
The 49ers originally signed Purcell as an undrafted free agent from Wyoming last year. He spent the season on the 49ers’ practice squad. Purcell (6 foot 3, 303 pounds) could make his NFL debut on Saturday night against the San Diego Chargers.
Justin Smith, Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine are the only other defensive linemen on the 49ers' 53-man roster.
Purcell gets the promotion over Lawrence Okoye, the only other defensive lineman on the team’s practice squad. Okoye, a 2012 Olympic finalist in the discus for Great Britain, is attempting to make a career out of football. But his entire football game experience has consisted of limited play in the past two NFL exhibition seasons.