The San Francisco 49ers anticipate having free safety Jimmie Ward out for longer than they had anticipated.
On August 14, Ward had a “very bad” hamstring injury, according to coach Kyle Shanahan. Although the Niners expected him to miss some time, Ward might miss the season’s first month.
On the pregame broadcast for Thursday’s preseason finale against the Houston Texans, Niner’s general manager John Lynch stated that Ward would likely begin the season on injured reserve, which would cost him the first four games.
On the broadcast from Amazon, Lynch added, “He lets us do what we do. “He is a safety who both plays and covers like a corner. He’s frequently our best cover man, so losing him is devastating. But we must find a way to take charge.”
Jimmie Ward’s Hamstring Injury Looks Bad:
The Niners added veteran safety Tashaun Gipson on Monday to bolster the depth and competition with Ward. Dontae Johnson, who will play in his seventh NFL season, switched from cornerback to safety during training camp. He receives extensive attention to free safety after recently recovering from a rib injury.
Since Ward’s injury, Tarvarius Moore and George Odum have both been taking snaps in his place.
According to league regulations, the 49ers cannot decide to place Ward on injured reserve with the possibility of recovery until after the initial 53-man roster has been reduced.
Therefore, before placing Ward on injured reserve on Wednesday after 4 p.m. ET, the Niners must keep him on the 53-man roster. If they had done it earlier, he would have to sit out the entire season.