Ford said he felt significantly better this summer and was adamant he’d take part in every game the 49ers played.
“A successful season for me is me every play, being the best that I can be every play and being available every play — that’s a successful season,” he said during training camp. “The numbers will always take care of itself because we all know what type of player I am. Every player knows what type of player they are, but it’s just about showing up every play, every down, every game. That’s my goal.”
Ford, however, injured his calf — something that Lynch called a “little Achilles tweak” — midway through training camp and didn’t resume practicing until September. He was a nonfactor in the Week 1 loss to the Cardinals.
Ford was unlikely to have played as many snaps against the Jets as he did versus Arizona, which likes to use three and four receivers. Arik Armstead will remain the starter at defensive end, but Kerry Hyder likely will get a lot of snaps there in Ford’s role as a rusher on pass downs. Kentavius Street, who was inactive in Week 1, also could be in uniform.
So, as the 49ers enter Week 2 of the 2020 season, how would this team fare if it did not have the services of its most irreplaceable players on each side of the ball?
Just wait until Sunday – and perhaps the following week, too. That’s when we will all find out.
After all, aside from being great players, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and All-Decade cornerback Richard Sherman bring so much more to the 49ers than on-field production.
Kittle is the heartbeat of the offense. And the all-knowing Sherman is the conscience of the defense.
Neither player will be available when the 49ers take the field Sunday to face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“We talked about that,” Gore said. “I got to. That’s the team that gave me the opportunity to do something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, play NFL ball. I was there for 10 great years. Been on bad teams and been on great teams. I love it out there. The owners are great people,” Gore said. “Even today, they call and check on me.”
Aiyuk’s debut and Dante Pettis getting a perfect opportunity
It presents a perfect opportunity for Dante Pettis, who, though only targeted once, fared far better than was the initial feeling on Sunday. There were at least three times when Pettis found himself wide open and Garoppolo did not look his way. Some of that is scheme and some of that is Garoppolo falling largely into two categories of failure last week: his standard lazer lock, in which stays with one target for far too long and fails to go through his progressions, or his over-correction, when, not trusting his interior offensive line or that his targets will come open, moves through his reads far too quickly.
Garoppolo will be better this week and both Aiyuk and Pettis will get on the board.
“I think there’s obviously good and bad from watching the film, but just being decisive, getting the ball out on time,” the quarterback responded. “I think those are two big things that will go a long way ... but just being more consistent as an offense. Each drive, going out there and executing.”
John Lynch joined KNBR on Friday morning and discussed Garoppolo. Fair or not, the 49ers general manager knows how much responsibility the quarterback position carries.
“A lot of Jimmy’s struggles, oftentimes, it’s really easy just to say, ‘Hey, the quarterback, the quarterback,’ when oftentimes it’s a bunch of people, and it’s a timing thing, and it’s this and that,” Lynch shared on the Murph & Mac show. “The thing I love about Jimmy is the way he has shown us his history of responding.
What’s good about it: The museum. The 49ers don’t have a lot of history at Levi’s yet — though last season’s run to the Super Bowl is certainly a start — but this franchise has one of the richest histories in the league, and that’s showcased at the museum on the north side of the stadium. There’s even an authentic replication of coach Bill Walsh’s old office — right down to his desk.
What you pay at Levi’s Stadium
Ticket: $166 (get-in price: $116)
12 oz of domestic beer: $7.44
Hot dog: $5
What needs work: The stadium is sterile and decidedly not in San Francisco. That has, at times, been a tough pill to swallow for locals with memories of Candlestick Park right on the Bay. Instead of the chilly winds from the upper levels of Candlestick, this stadium seems cursed with extremely hot seats on the “sunny side” of the stadium.
NFL Nation commentary: ”Levi’s generally gets downgraded for a lack of personality and for being located in Santa Clara, a 45-mile drive from San Francisco. It lacks the charm of Candlestick or the innovation you might expect from a new venue in the heart of Silicon Valley, but a better product on the field will likely bolster how it’s perceived moving forward.” — Nick Wagoner