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 49ers teammate Chris Culliver must pass in order to play against the Chicago 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 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh verified that the first-round pick was fine to play against Chicago in Sunday’s home opener, the first regular-season game at Levi’s Stadium.
“His helmet got knocked off and he came to the sideline, and they went through the testing and determined that he had not sustained a concussion,” Harbaugh said.
Ward was involved in a collision near the goal line with 2:31 to play. He got to his knees and then slowly to his feet before walking off the field. An announcement to the media said he was being examined for a concussion.
According to the NFL, that examination measures memory, concentration and balance and 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.
Ward played 67 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps at nickel cornerback. Perrish Cox filled in at the position for the two plays Ward missed.
Ward figures to be on the field a lot against the Bears, too.
Chicago used three wide receivers on 45 percent of its plays last year, according to analytics provider Pro Football Focus, and the Bears used three receivers on nearly 68 percent of their plays in Week 1.
Culliver did sustain a concussion and must pass the league-mandated protocol before being cleared to play Sunday. Neither he nor the team’s other starting cornerback, Tramaine Brock, practiced Wednesday.
Brock has a sprained big toe and his status for the Bears game also is unknown.
Cox, Chris Cook and Dontae Johnson are the only healthy cornerbacks on the roster this week.
Et cetera – While the 49ers practiced without their top cornerbacks Wednesday, the Bears were without their top two receivers. Brandon Marshall is dealing with an ankle injury; Alshon Jeffery has a strained hamstring.
• Wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who was slowed by a calf injury against the Cowboys, practiced fully Wednesday.
• Defensive end Justin Smith, who is tied for the league lead with two sacks after Week 1, was given the day off from practice.