Per NFL.com, San Francisco 49ers rookie Jimmie Ward is expected to be out due to injury. The defensive back out of Northern Illinois is recovering from a surgically-repaired foot. Ward is still around at 49ers headquarters, so he will be able to receive mental reps as he prepares for his rookie season.
Prior to drafting Ward, the 49ers knew this was a minor concern, and the front office still felt confident enough to take him in the first round. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will have to wait a little longer to show off his new toy. With many departures in the secondary, a lot is expected of Ward this season. The 49ers defense play many packages that will have Ward all over the field this season.
Ward has the ability to play cornerback and safety, so his versatility will be key on the 49ers’ already potent defense. It’s best to take care of the injury now rather than waiting until later. Ward will miss some time, but as long as he is ready to go at the start off training camp, there shouldn’t be any major issues.
Fans and coaches are excited to see him on the field. Ward knows that this situation is a minor setback, but the outcome at the end of the season can make the injury an afterthought. A lot is resting on Ward this season, and in order to make sure his rookie season is a success, he has to be healthy first.