It was believed San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward could miss the 2022 season opener vs. the Chicago Bears due to his hamstring injury, but now, it's looking like he could miss several regular-season games. On Thursday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Ward will likely be placed on short-term injured reserve to start the season, per NFL.com.
If the 49ers decide to make this transaction, Ward will be unavailable for the first four games of the regular season. The veteran free safety suffered a hamstring injury during a practice earlier this month that was severe enough for Shanahan to wonder about his Week 1 status.
"Yeah, it was a pretty bad hamstring injury," said Shanahan. "We'll see over the next couple of weeks how it plays out."
Ward has spent his entire career with the 49ers after the club selected him in the fourth round of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois. While injuries have put a damper on the earlier years of his career, Ward has been much more durable over the past three seasons and has become a key piece to San Francisco's secondary.
The 31-year-old is also coming off a career year in 2021 where he totaled 77 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions in 16 games played (all starts). Ward allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 59.1% of their passes against him with a 92.5 passer rating.
Along with Ward and Johnson, Tarvarius Moore, George Odum, and undrafted rookie Tayler Hawkins currently make up San Francisco's safety depth chart.