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49ers to activate Jimmie Ward from PUP on Wednesday

The big question is who takes the No. 1 free safety snaps as the regular season approaches.

The San Francisco 49ers are removing free safety Jimmie Ward from the Physically Unable to Perform List on Wednesday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that he would return to practice in a limited fashion. Shanahan said the hope is to get him ready to play this Sunday, but it depends on how the week of practice goes and if they can ramp him up.

Ward was first placed on the PUP list after suffering a hamstring injury during his conditioning test when he reported to camp. He has been slowly working his way back, and has been unable to practice with the team while on PUP. Now that he is off the PUP list, he can not be placed on it again if he aggravates the injury.

In Ward’s absence, Lorenzo Jerome has emerged as a presence in the secondary. The 49ers signed him as a UDFA this past May, and expectations were relatively high. He was listed among Todd McShay’s top UDFAs available. He started as the third team free safety, then moved to No. 2 when Ward opened camp on PUP. When Jaquiski Tartt suffered a rib injury, Jerome moved up to No. 1 on the depth chart. He impressed the first two weeks, but the big question now is how quickly Ward supplants him in the starting lineup.