San Francisco 49ers News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Fansided: Why 49ers should sign Tre Boston in the wake of Jimmie Ward injury
For some time now, Niner Noise has been touting the idea the San Francisco 49ers should go after veteran free-agent safety Tre Boston, who spent last season with the Niners' NFC West rivals, the Arizona Cardinals.
Instead, San Francisco elected to roll largely with what it had at the position, defensive backs Jimmie Ward and Adrian Colbert.
But Ward suffered a broken collarbone during the first week of organized team activities (OTAs), and he'll be out for eight to 12 weeks. And while he should be able to return by the regular season, Ward's notable injury history should create enough concern for the 49ers to at least explore adding some depth and competition.
CSN Bay Area: Will 49ers look for safety help after Jimmie Ward broke his collarbone?
One week of 49ers organized team activities is in the books.
Nearly a quarter of the 49ers' 90-man roster is sidelined by injuries. The good news is that none of the unexpected ailments is expected to keep anyone out of action into the start of the regular season.
Let's open the 49ers Mailbag to see what's on the minds of those chiming in on Twitter (click here to follow @MaioccoNBCS):
Will SF be looking to sign another safety (Tre Boston, Eric Berry, etc) since Jimmie Ward got injured? (@Irfannzo)
I do not get that sense.
Niners Nation: 49ers 90-in-90: DT Cedric Thornton
At one point in his career, Cedric Thornton was solid depth for an NFL team. He didn't have the stats that wow'd you over, but he wasn't an awful fill-in defensive tackle. At this point in his career, after retiring once already, Thornton is coming to the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has a very young defensive line. They have Solomon Thomas in a new scheme that will take advantage of him in the interior, D.J. Jones, Kentavius Street, and Sheldon Day all ready as solid depth.
Niners Nation: NFL bans the Oklahoma Drill from practices
This week, the NFL bid farewell to a drill many of you may be familiar with: the Oklahoma drill. The drill is now banned from the NFL practices along with several other high-contact drills.
For those of you unfamiliar with the drill, it has several variations, all with one consistent theme: a collision. A typical drill has a ball carrier, a tackler and a blocker and the idea is to shed the block and get the ball carrier. There are other variations of it. A popular one is with a tackler and a ball carrier, both are on their back and at the whistle they get up and collide.
Niners Nation: Joe Staley makes PFF's top-10 players over 35
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the younger teams in the league, but that doesn't mean they are lacking in veteran leadership. They have cornerback Richard Sherman helping out on the secondary and left tackle Joe Staley continuing to play at a high level on the offensive line. This is rather impressive on it's own, but it's made more so by the fact Staley is over 35 years of age.
The folks over at Pro Football Focus put together a top-10 list of the best players over 35. While it's top-10 in name, there wasn't necessarily a ranking of players in the actual list.
Niners Nation: 49ers Academy Challenge Campaign for East Palo Alto Students
If there's one thing I truly enjoy shining some light on, it's the 49ers' off-the-field efforts.
Right now, the 49ers Academy has a campaign raising funds to make an impact on the lives of East Palo Alto high school students. East Palo Alto is one of the most economically and socially stressed cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. 87% of students in EPA under the age of 18 live in poverty. The success of tech companies in Silicon Valley has caused a major shift in gentrification of East Palo Alto and drove up the cost of living in the process, making life in East Palo Alto much harder on children and families.
Fansided: 3 storylines to watch during Week 2 of 49ers' 2019 OTAs
On one hand, it's great to see the San Francisco 49ers back on the field again, even if organized team activities are just padless practices. But on the other, the Niners' opening full-team sessions weren't without incident.
San Francisco suffered a good number of injuries during its first week of OTAs, the most notable being defensive back Jimmie Ward breaking his collarbone, while EDGE Nick Bosa suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
Ward is expected to be out between eight to 12 weeks, while Bosa should be ready to go for the start of training camp later this summer.
Niners Nation: How improved do you think the 49ers are this offseason?
Ladies and Gentleman, we have our 2019 San Francisco 49ers. At least until we get to the 53-man roster. Sure, there may be some additional free agent acquisitions here and there (especially with Jimmie Ward fracturing his collarbone), but we have seen needs addressed and a team geting stronger.
The question is, how improved do you think they are?
The folks over at Sports Illustrated's MMQB put together a list of the most improved teams in the 2019 offseason and put the 49ers on the list. Robert Klemko was the one who wrote the snippet on the 49ers and here's what he said about their activity in 2019:
"I don't like paying Kwon Alexander Top 10 linebacker money, but I loved everything else the Niners did this offseason.
Niners Nation: Golden Nuggets: Should Tarvarius Moore play Safety?
With Jimmie Ward back on the wagon (off the wagon?) with a broken collarbone, the Niners are already back to the Adrian Colbert/Antone Exum Jr. combo of 2018. And while there may still be plenty of potential there with Colbert, he didn't perform well when healthy last year, and he has a bit of an injury history of his own.
Another option might be DJ Reed who filled in at FS for a couple of games last year, but both he and the coaches seem to be more comfortable with him playing in the slot.
San Jose Mercury News: Healthier Richard Sherman must spark 49ers suspect secondary
SANTA CLARA -- Jimmie Ward's collarbone injury in Thursday's practice serves as a sobering reminder how precarious the 49ers' secondary is. Again.
Reinforcements did not flood in this offseason, other than veteran cornerback Jason Verrett (who considered retirement after last season's Achilles tear) and sixth-round draft pick Tim Harris.
Thus, the 49ers are banking on their incumbent defensive backs to rally from a disastrous and unproductive 2018 season, and those hopes are largely based on an upgraded pass rush and tweaks to the defensive scheme.
Once Ward re-signed on a one-year, prove-it deal, cornerback Richard Sherman said he wasn't surprised the 49ers didn't sign his former Seattle Seahawks teammate Earl Thomas, an All-Pro free safety who instead went to Baltimore.
Niners Nation: 49ers 90-in-90: S Adrian Colbert
On the heels of Jimmie Ward breaking his collarbone, it only makes sense that we talk about San Francisco 49ers 2017 seventh-round draft pick Adrian Colbert. You never go into a season depending on a player drafted as late as Colbert. For the second year in a row, Colbert should see a significant amount of snaps. He played 320 in 2018. Depending on whether the 49ers make any moves, that number should double this year.
Colbert was a fan favorite last year, and that has continued this offseason. He's a chill, low-key guy. Our own Rob Lowder was up late playing video games with Colbert a couple of weeks ago.
The Press Democrat: You can't win games in May, but you sure as hell can lose them: The 49ers story
If Al Davis were alive, he'd tell Kyle Shanahan, "You can't win games in May, but you sure as hell can lose them," and, "If you get players hurt during OTAs, you're a dumbs--."
Those were two of Davis' favorite football axioms. He especially loved the phrase "dumbs--."
Shanahan is no dumbs--. But he has violated both axioms this offseason through the structure of his OTAs, and the unrealistic demands he has placed on players three months before the season even starts.
On the second day of OTAs, the 49ers' first-round pick, Nick Bosa, suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain during a competitive, full-speed, one-on-one pass-rushing drill.
Fansided: Jimmy Garoppolo's health is the 49ers' biggest X-factor for 2019
We've already seen the movie called 49ers: A Year Without a Quarterback, so we pretty much know how it ends.
A losing season.
A high draft pick.
Swarms of disappointed fans.
Needless to say, it's not something any 49er fan wants to relive any time soon.
So the question of how vital quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is to the 49ers' success in 2019 -- and beyond -- almost feels too obvious to venture further into. It doesn't feel like an overstatement, then, to say it this way:
Garoppolo being healthy is the difference between the Niners having a chance at busting into the playoff conversation or ending up picking in the top 10 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
CSN Bay Area: 49ers considered Jimmie Ward's injury history with one-year contract
The 49ers carefully considered the risks.
And, ultimately, they came up with a one-year, prove-it contract offer that led to versatile and hard-charging defensive back Jimmie Ward remaining with the 49ers for the start of his sixth NFL season.
"It's not an easy answer, because there's a long (injury) history," 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. "But there's also a very, very talented football player who I would tell you grew into a really special leader."
Said coach Kyle Shanahan, "I love Jimmie Ward. .
Niners Nation: Kyle Juszczyk explains why the 49ers early bye week is beneficiary to the team
When the San Francisco 49ers 2019 schedule was released a little over a month ago, there were a few initial complaints. The early start times. The brutal final month, and the early bye week. 49ers fullback Kyle Jusczcyk was on 95.7 The Game Thursday and had an interesting takeaway about the teams' Week 4 bye week. Here's what he had to say:
"As an NFL player, the first thing that I look at when I get the schedule is I look for when is our bye week? That was what really kind of jumped out to me this year is the bye week in Week 4 is something I've never dealt with before, and I'm interested to see how that is going to play out.