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One of the story lines for the 49ers this year has been the team's youth answering the call to duty in the wake of injuries, and the next man to do so may be defensive lineman Quinton Dial.
"Things this week went good for me, just getting a feel for being back at the nose position," Dial said on a 49ers.com podcast when asked about potentially starting Sunday vs. the New York Giants. "It's unfortunate what happened to Ian [Williams], but my number was called, so I got to step up."
Regular starting nose tackle Ian Williams suffered a slight lower leg fracture in Week 11 against the Saints and is expected to be out a few weeks.
Dial, a fifth-round selection out of Alabama in 2013, played most of the snaps once Williams exited the game.
He notched his first career NFL sack in spot duty.
"I remember seeing Tony Jerod-Eddie out of the left side of my vision," Dial recalled. "He had fell down, and I had seen a gap, and I took it. And down went [quarterback] Drew Brees."
Dial has prepared for a more sizable role this week, and isn't overlooking a Giants offensive line that has allowed 20 sacks this season.
"You got to be ready to play each and every week," the 6-foot-5, 318-pound lineman said. "We can't underestimate these guys; they're a great football team led by a great quarterback. So we just got to be ready to play in all phases."
Dial, 24, has appeared in 10 regular season games. He has six total tackles, one sack and one pass deflected.
2013 starting nose tackle Glenn Dorsey could also return Sunday vs. the Giants.
Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey was not activated Saturday.