SANTA CLARA -- Rookie safety Jimmie Ward did not suffer a concussion at the end of Sunday's game in Dallas and will not go through the post-concussion protocol that teammate Chris Culliver must pass in order to play against the Bears.
“To my friends and family I don't have a concussion..thanks for your concern.” Ward tweeted Tuesday night. That tweet has since been deleted from his account, but his agent verified that Ward ultimately was not diagnosed with a concussion.
He left the game with 2:31 to play after a collision near the goal line knocked his helmet off. He got to his knees and then slowly to his feet before walking off the field. An announcement in the press box said Ward was being examined for a concussion.
According to the NFL, that examination measures, memory, concentration and balance as well as how quickly a player recalls words given to them at least five minutes earlier. A team doctor might ask the player to name the month, date, day of week, year and time or to identify the venue and the opponent. The process takes eight to 12 minutes.
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Ward played 67 percent of the 49ers' defensive snaps at nickel cornerback. Perrish Cox filled in at the position for the two plays he missed.
Ward figures to be on the field a lot against the Bears as well. Chicago used three wide receivers on 45 percent of their plays last year, according to analytics provider Pro Football Focus. The Bears had three receivers on nearly 68 percent of their plays in Week 1.
Culliver did sustain a concussion and must pass the league-mandated protocol in order to play Sunday. The team's other starting cornerback, Tramaine Brock, has a sprained big toe and his status for the Bears game also is unknown.
Backups Cox and Chris Cook played extensively during training camp and preseason when Brock and Culliver missed time with injuries.