The San Francisco 49ers have had a difficult season that has been hit by injuries and the news is still not optimistic for the rest of this season and the next. And although defensive end Nick Bosa is back fully fit, the news about Dee Ford is still not sounding good.
Dee Ford has a history of injury problems throughout his football career. He missed out on much of the 2011 season because of a back problem that required surgery. When he played for the Chiefs in 2017, the same thing happened; back surgery caused him to miss out on much of the season.
He was traded to the 49ers from the Chiefs during a period of reasonable form but although he is undoubtedly a good player it seems likely that the Chiefs were very happy to unload this injury prone football player.
Fast forward 10 years and Dee Ford is now a 49er. He is also 10 years older and is still suffering from injuries. He has been out of action due to knee, quad and hamstring problems and only made 11 appearances for the Fortyniners in the 2020 season.
His latest injury problem was originally described as a neck injury but has since been reclassified as a back injury.
With regards to the rest of this season and the next, John Lynch the general team manager, could not provide much hope. In an interview with the SF Chronicle , he said,
I can’t tell you with great certainty that, yeah, he’s going to be ready, “We’re working hard – and he is working hard – to try to get there.”
Whether Dee Ford can regain his fitness levels and take his place in the team next season is unknown. The signs are not promising but it looks like the 49ers are stuck with him.
He restructured his contract before the 2020 season and is due for a $20.785 million cap hit next year should he stay with the 49ers.
Now aged 30, Dee Ford still has time to regenerate his career. However rumours are circulating that he may be forced to retire because of his injuries. According to head coach, Kyle Shananhan , Dee Ford is doing better with his recuperation right now but needs to be careful as,
“You can’t risk things when dealing with that part of the body”
Football is a highly physical game. Dee Ford needs to put his long term health as priority ahead of his playing career. But if he did retire mid season he would owe the 49ers $4.8 million. On the other hand if he waited until the off season and was then cut by the 49ers he would get to keep the remainder of his $8 million signing bonus.
For now the official line is that Dee Ford is still part of the line up. But maybe don’t hold your breath in the hope that he will regain fitness and actually play again next season.