The San Francisco 49ers have placed NT Ian Williams on the reserve/non-football injury list, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. The move makes room on the 90-man roster for OT Anthony Davis' return to the team following his reinstatement into the NFL.
#49ers add Anthony Davis to roster, put NT Ian Williams on reserve/non-football-injury list— Cam Inman (@CamInman) July 30, 2016
The placement of Williams on the injury list is a season-ending move according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area and a "huge blow" to the 49ers who had hoped to have Williams available at some point this season. "It is not known how Williams sustained the non-football injury in the offseason," reports Maiocco. The 49ers defense had already lost edge defender Aaron Lynch for four games due to a suspension. Williams and Lynch were the team's top two defenders in 2015 per Pro Football Focus.
Huge blow for the #49ers to place NT Ian Williams on reserve/NFI due to his offseason ankle injury/surgery. He is out for the season.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) July 30, 2016
In March, Williams, who was about to become a free agent, agreed to a new five-year contract with the 49ers. That contract was believed to pay Williams between $5 and $6 million per year. However, when his availability for the 49ers' season opener in September came into question, that contract was replaced by a one-year deal.
Following a physical, it was determined that Williams' rehab from surgery on his left leg would require more time than originally believed. The base salary on his new deal is $1 million with bonuses that bring the cap hit for the 49ers to $4 million. The contract allows the 49ers to evaluate Williams for another season, but will once again make him a free agent in 2017. Prior to the extent of the injury becoming better known, Williams was considered one of the top interior defender free agents.
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Williams missed 21 of 32 games from in 2013 and 2014 because of a leg fracture in each of the two seasons. He became a starter in 2014, but the fractured leg ended his season after nine games. He started all 16 games for the 49ers in 2015 and underwent a follow-up procedure upon completion of the season.
Williams joined the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame in 2011.
Ian Williams finished 2015 as our ninth ranked DT (+24.4) and sixth vs. run (+23.9). Health was a question but that's a huge blow. #49ers— Jeff Deeney (@PFF_Jeff) July 30, 2016