SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who started 16 games last season, will return to practice this week after missing the first three weeks of training camp with a leg strain.
Wilhoite will be cleared off the non-football injury list and begin competition against Nick Moody for the starting role alongside NaVorro Bowman. Wilhoite is likely to see limited work this week in joint practices against the Denver Broncos.
Wilhoite’s return coincides with the loss of veteran inside linebacker Desmond Bishop, who will be sidelined with a hand injury, Tomsula said. Bishop is expected to be out of action an unspecified amount of time after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.
Wide receiver Bruce Ellington and defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey are expected to return to practice this week after missing time with leg strains. Ellington was the 49ers’ top return man last season, but Australian import Jarryd Hayne is making a strong bid for that job this summer.
Tight end Vance McDonald and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs sustained ankle sprains in the 49ers’ 23-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night and are expected to miss a couple days of practice, Tomsula said.
Safety Craig Dahl has a back strain and will also miss a couple practices.
Defensive lineman Tank Carradine had a leg strain that limited him to just two plays on Sunday, but Tomsula said he would “work through that in practice.”
Veteran lineback Philip Wheeler (leg strain) is expected to miss another week.