Jimmie Ward ended three of his first four 49ers seasons on injured reserve and he hasn’t had any more luck with his health this offseason.
Ward, who moved back to cornerback from safety, hurt his ankle during OTAs and dealt with a hamstring injury during training camp before leaving Saturday’s game in the first quarter. Ward hurt his quad on punt coverage, which led to a question for head coach Kyle Shanahan about whether he’s frustrated by Ward’s issues staying healthy.
“No, I wouldn’t say ‘frustration’ because then it would be negative toward Jimmy. It’s just unfortunate,” Shanahan said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “Jimmie works real hard and I love Jimmie as a player, and he’s very tough. He has gotten hurt a lot but I don’t question any of those.”
Ward is guaranteed $8.5 million this season after the 49ers exercised their fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He’s not expected to start on defense and how much return they get on that investment will be determined in part by how often he’s able to get on the field.