San Francisco 49ers

49ers notebook: Shanahan cautiously optimistic about Ford, hopes for home-field edge

The 49ers are hoping Dee Ford can overcome his latest setback in time for Sunday’s home opener.

“There’s always a concern,” Kyle Shanahan said when asked about Ford’s recurring knee tendinitis. “But he’s day-to-day. (He) had a chance to practice today. We’re going to play it safe.”

Ford sat out Wednesday’s practice after leaving the victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at halftime with the same injury that cost him most of training camp and the entire preseason, though the team is classifying it as a quadriceps injury.

Ford last month had platelet-rich plasma injections in his knee to expedite the healing process, but the tendinitis that bothered him dating back to his time with the Chiefs has persisted.

“We’ll see here over the next two days, which makes me somewhat optimistic for the game,” Shanahan said. “But we’ve got to play it day by day. It’s something he’s dealing with. Feels better now than it did after the game on Sunday, so hopefully that will continue.”

The 49ers on Wednesday were also without strong safety Jaquiski Tartt due to a toe injury. Tartt wasn’t listed among the team’s injuries after Sunday’s game or in the aftermath Monday. Tartt is third on the team with 10 tackles over the first two games. Like Ford, he’s considered day-to-day.

Defensive end Nick Bosa was back on the practice field Wednesday after missing two practices last week with an ankle injury, though the team announced he was a limited participant. Bosa on Sunday played 30 snaps (43 percent) and didn’t register an official statistic, though he had a handful of pressures of quarterback Andy Dalton.

Also limited was defensive back Jimmie Ward, who continues to sport an awkward brace on his right hand to protect his surgically repaired fractured finger. As expected, running back Tevin Coleman (left high ankle sprain), receiver Jalen Hurd (back stiffness), tackle Joe Staley (fractured fibula) and receiver Trent Taylor (foot) missed Wednesday’s practice.

A different vibe in Levi’s?

The 49ers haven’t had a winning record heading into a home game since Thanksgiving 2014. With a 2-0 record, Sunday’s home opener at Levi’s Stadium could have a different atmosphere.

“I love when you give momentum to the fans and stuff,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully they are excited with us coming back and it’s the first game of the year. Hopefully they are excited with it is the first game and that we are 2-0. I hope we come out there and play well because of it. I know our guys are pumped to be back, we’ve been on the road for a while. This will be our first game in the stadium this year, we plan on it being a good year in our stadium.”

There were a slew of San Francisco fans still in their seats behind the 49ers’ bench Sunday in Cincinnati, particularly after the blowout was underway in the second half. Jimmy Garoppolo said he noticed the noise from traveling road fans against the Buccaneers and Bengals.

“These last two games in Tampa and Cincinnati especially, it turned into a home game with all the red out there. It was fun,” Garoppolo said. “I would expect a great atmosphere this Sunday and hope the crowd’s rocking.”

Levi’s Stadium, of course, hasn’t been known as a daunting place for opponents to play since it opened in 2014. The 49ers have a 15-25 at home since moving from Candlestick Park. Of course, those teams haven’t been good, finishing with double-digit losses the past four seasons.

Fans haven’t had much to cheer about, save for late in the 2017 season when Garoppolo was in the midst of his splashy debut following his trade from the Patriots.

“I think our stadium has been loud,” Shanahan said. “I always revert back to, I think it was the Christmas Eve game versus Jacksonville. I mean, we were out of (the playoff race) and I thought our fans were as loud as any stadium I’ve been at. I felt it last year versus Oakland. I felt it versus Seattle last year, so I think our fans come ready and if we come ready I think we’ll be very happy about our home-field advantage.”

A change at long snapper

The 49ers on Tuesday swapped long snappers, releasing Colin Holba after two games and bringing in veteran Jon Condo who spent most of his 13-year career with the Oakland Raiders.

Shanahan was asked about why he made the switch and noted there were things that showed up in practice and during the first two games that needed improvement.

“This isn’t my area of expertise,” Shanahan said, “but there are very little details and stuff with timing and you want guys to be perfect every time. No, (Holba) wasn’t perfect so we are just trying to see if we can get someone a little more consistent. He wasn’t bad though either. We just thought we could make an upgrade.”

The 49ers in the offseason re-signed long snapper Kyle Nelson to a four-year contract extension despite Nelson getting popped for a 10-game suspension for performance enhancing substances. Nelson began serving the suspension last season and has four games remaining. He’ll be eligible to rejoin the team Oct. 27 against the Carolina Panthers.

Robbie Gould, who led the NFL by making 97.1 percent of his kicks last season, missed a field goal in each of the first two games, including a 58-yarder in the opener and a 39-yarder in the second half against the Bengals.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments