49ers general manager John Lynch said Monday that he doesn't have "a lot of hope" that Ford (back) will be able to contribute on the field during the 2022 campaign, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.

Ford suffered a back injury in October last season and didn't progress the way San Francisco would've hoped before he was eventually shut down in mid-December. Wagoner relays that this continues to be the case, and it's gotten to the point that the 49ers don't believe a return in 2022 is possible. The team already restructured Ford's contract to open enough space for them to start the new league year, but by releasing the veteran pass rusher after June 1, the team could save an extra $1.12 million, per David Lombardi of The Athletic. Ford has made 18 appearances across three seasons with the 49ers, totaling 22 tackles, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

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