Charvarius back at 49ers practice, wants to go by nickname originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Charvarius Ward was back on the practice field with the 49ers on Sunday as they prepare for their 2022 NFL season opener on Sept. 11 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and there’s one thing he wants everyone to know -- he prefers to go by his nickname of “Mooney.”
The shutdown cornerback shared that all of his siblings were given “really difficult first names” by their mother, which prompted all of them to go by nicknames growing up. Ward went through the entire list of his siblings’ given names and their everyday monikers as proof.
Additionally, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has even been confused by questions during press conferences with safety Tarvarius Moore’s name sounding very similar to Charvarius. Both Shanahan and Ward would like to keep it clear by referring to the cornerback as “Mooney” going forward.
Ward, who has been sidelined due to a strained groin muscle, will be cautiously worked back into team drills after sitting out of the entire preseason. The fifth-year defensive back has been working on his conditioning, technique and ball skills on the side field while he has been out.
While unable to participate in practice, Ward was able to watch his teammates and has noticed marked improvement from the group.
“I think we got a whole lot better from where we were at in OTAs,” Ward said on Sunday. “We are just going to keep improving, keep getting better every day. Week 1, I feel like we are going to put on a show.”
After the addition of Ward during free agency, the 49ers' secondary is arguably the most improved position group on the team. Emmanuel Moseley, who was back to top form after missing time with knee and ankle injuries in 2021, returned to practice last week after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Deommodore Lenoir has been steadily improving in his second season while 2021 draft classmate Ambry Thomas has been out with a bone bruise in his knee. The group is rounded out by versatile veteran Dontae Johnson and rookies Tariq Castro-Fields, Qwuantrezz Knight and Sam Womack.
“I think Womack caught everybody’s eye,” Ward said. “He’s scrappy, He’s feisty. He can play really good, he can cover well. He has great ball skills too."
The group is set to be back to full strength for Week 1 in Chicago. While they might not have been on the field together for the past few weeks, Ward believes the secondary still has momentum.
“We never lost it,” Ward said. “We still balling. We're still doing what we do.”