We can’t escape talking about injuries with the San Francisco 49ers. It’s not all bad news, though. Dee Ford returned to practice on Tuesday and made it no secret that he’s looking forward to the chance to sack Tampa Bay’s quarterback, Jameis Winston.
Ford was asked to give his scouting report on the Buccaneers, to which he responded, “You saw the Cleveland game, right?” Winston was running for his life during the first half against the Browns. He was sacked five times and under pressure on 34% of his dropbacks.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Tampa Bay’s tackles are terrible. Ford wanted to say it but didn’t. Twice, he said, “we’ll have our opportunities.”
Ford had been dealing with tendinitis—which is an annual thing—early in training camp. Before Tuesday, he had been getting treatment from the training staff and not doing any football drills with the team.
Kyle Shanahan mentioned how Ford “looked great” and had “very fresh legs” in practice. Ford’s health could allow the 49ers to be patient with Nick Bosa, whose status is questionable for Week 1. If Ford was still 50/50 on playing, that might force the teams’ hand, and ultimately lead to a bad decision.
Ford said that he never had the PRP treatment before, and admitted that he wasn’t pain free, but how the pain is far more manageable now than it was when training camp began a month ago.
“This past time, it got to a point where I was dysfunctional, and that’s a bad sign. So we really had to nip that in the bud. But it feels good now.”
A healthy and fresh Ford paired with DeForest Buckner, sprinkled in with the rest of the improved pass-rushers, should be plenty to keep the Bucs at bay.