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Dee Ford and Dre Greenlaw are expected to play Sunday

Elijah Mitchell will be limited during Wednesday’s practice

49ers edge rusher Dee Ford jumps at Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in the endzone. Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers received more good news along the injury front as Kyle Shanahan said he expects Dre Greenlaw to be activated off the injured reserve list before Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

The real surprise came when Shanahan said the team would open Dee Ford’s practice window on Thursday. Ford’s expected to return to practice Thursday, and “hopefully, he’ll be good to go for Sunday,” per Shanahan.

Let’s say Ford only plays 15 snaps. If those are all on obvious passing downs and he has one impact play, you can’t ask for much more. When Ford plays, the 49ers are a better defense. There is no way around that.

For context, and proof, really, Ford has played 86 snaps this season. He has four tackles for loss, three sacks, and two quarterback hits totaling nine pressures. Ford has immense value.

I’m curious to see if Greenlaw returns as a starter, if he’s only used in sub-packages, or if he’s slowly but surely worked back into the lineup. In man coverage, Greenlaw can help.

Elijah Mitchell will remain limited in practice Wednesday. Here’s the injury report for Wednesday’s practice:


Elijah Mitchell (finger)

Laken Tomlinson (ankle)

Josh Norman (rib)

Did Not participate:

Trent Williams - Vet day

Maurice Hurst (calf)

JaMychal Hasty (ankle)

Shanahan said that Williams is having the best seasons of his career. Cited that Williams is still one of the most talented guys at his age, but now he has more wisdom and experience.

Shanahan also spoke highly of Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson: “I think he’s one of the best WRs in the league, if not the best. He reminds me a ton of Emmanuel Sanders back in the day. He’s a hell of a player.”

The 49ers announced they signed CB Luq Barcoo in addition to Devin Funchess to the team’s practice squad. To make room, they released WR Austin Watkins Jr.