Ward (hamstring) returned to practice Friday, participating in a limited fashion, Matt Maiocco of NBS Sports Bay Area reports. Ward exited Wednesday's practice with a tight hamstring, but his quick return to team activities is a good sign that serious injury was avoided. The 27-year-old projects to serve as a primary backup defensive back if he begins the season healthy.
Ward (hamstring) sat out Wednesday's practice after feeling tightness in his hamstring following Tuesday's team activities, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Ward was a full participant in camp after having his 2017 campaign cut short by a broken forearm, but the oft-injured defensive back now has a tight hamstring to deal with. The severity of the injury is unclear, and the team has labeled the 27-year-old as "day-to-day." Ward is expected to serve a backup corner role this season after starting 18 games at free safety over the last two years.
Ward (forearm) was held out of team drills during this month's minicamp, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports. Ward broke his forearm last October and the 49ers appear to be taking a cautious approach with his recovery. It's not certain that he'll be full-go when training camp opens in late July. When healthy, the defensive back is expected to compete for the top job at nickel cornerback, as Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt are in line to start at safety, with Richard Sherman and Akhello Witherspoon the first-string corners.
Ward (forearm) will take reps at cornerback during the offseason program, Joe Fann of the 49ers' official website reports. A 2014 first-round pick, Ward has experience at free safety, strong safety, slot corner and outside corner, with the versatility helping to make up for his lack of statistical impact. He strictly played free safety last season before landing on injured reserve with a broken forearm, notching 32 tackles and a fumble recovery in seven games. With 2017 seventh-round pick Adrian Colbert proving to be a capable replacement at safety, the 49ers could have Ward compete with K'Waun Williams for the slot CB role. Richard Sherman (Achilles) and Akhello Witherspoon are in line to serve as the starting outside cornerbacks, assuming Sherman is ready for Week 1. Ward should be healthy for the offseason program.
The 49ers expect Ward (forearm) to be ready for the start of the team's offseason program in mid-April, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. After spending time at cornerback in 2016, Ward shifted back to free safety last season at the request of the 49ers' new coaching staff and was productive before fracturing his forearm, registering 32 tackles (27 solo) in seven games. Though Ward's salary is set to quadruple to $8.52 million during the upcoming season due to his fifth-year player option, the 49ers could negotiate a longer-term extension with the defensive back in order to spread the guaranteed money out over multiple seasons. Ward will be in line for a starting role in the secondary once again in 2018.
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