With Isaac Sopoaga likely out on Sunday due to a staph infection, the 49ers are likely to have Ricky Jean Francois starting in the middle of the line at the nose tackle position. Jean Francois was a seventh-round pick in 2009, and is, right now, more famous for his "Peanut Butter Jelly Dance" than his play, but fans have felt good about his potential, as reports came out of camp about his readiness and willingness to play the nose tackle position. It'll be a period of evaluation for Jean Francois, but there will also be a battle waging just behind him, at other backup spots on the defensive line.
While DeMarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams aren't battling eachother for a spot on the depth chart, as one plays defensive end and the other plays nose tackle. But they are definitely both looking to make an impression, as neither have been active all season. Now with Will Tukuafu heading to injured reserve on top of the Sopoaga staph infection, it's likely that both of them will be active, and both looking to make an impression on the 49ers at their respective positions.
Dobbs is an undrafted free agent who made waves in the preseason, and it's not likely he'll get as much playing time as Williams, who is also an undrafted free agent. Dobbs will be worked in whenever RayMcDonald needs to take a breather and Williams will see the field when Jean Francois has to come off for a breather, or in the event that Jean Francois is getting mauled on the field on every play.
When it comes to Williams, being undrafted doesn't mean quite as much as you might think. Nose tackles are seriously undervalued in the NFL draft, and this class was given high marks as being a particularly strong one, yet only a handful of players actually were drafted for the position, while a slew of guys considered to have strong upside at the position went undrafted. Williams is a guy with a lot of potential for the position, and if he can get some seasoning early on in his career, it could help immensely.