Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media prior to Wednesday's scheduled 1:25 p.m. practice. Earlier that morning, the 49ers added linebacker Elijah Lee off of the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad. A day earlier, the team worked out two linebackers – neither of whom was Lee.

Shanahan explained why the 49ers signed someone from outside of the organization versus bringing in someone who has spent time this offseason with the team.

"The person who had been here had only been here for three days," Shanahan said. "I don't really get to see the guys at this time of the year but we tried to figure out the best guy that we thought could help us on special teams and hopefully get him ready to play linebacker. We're still two injuries away from getting that person in – the fourth guy.

"But we needed someone that we thought could learn to do that once the time came and could be our best player on special teams."

Lee was among the players who visited with the 49ers leading into April's draft so there is some familiarity with him.

"He was someone that we were interested in throughout the draft so we had our eye on him," Shanahan explained. "Then our personnel department keeps an eye on him throughout preseason, guys that we targeted in the draft. Usually, those are guys that when we go do it, we put a lot of time into it with their college play."



Free safety Jimmie Ward did not practice during training camp nor did he play during the preseason. He was inactive against the Carolina Panthers during Week 1. Ward has been attempting to return from a hamstring injury that forced the 49ers to place him on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of training camp. He was activated off of the PUP list back on August 23.

Last week, Ward was limited during practices as the 49ers prepared for the Panthers. This week is starting off similarly, but Ward may get a little more work as the team prepares for its road game against the Seattle Seahawks.

"He's still limited," Shanahan said. "He's going to get more today than he did last week. We're going to continue trying to up his reps. We'll see how that goes today. I expect him to be better this week than he was last week but he's definitely still limited and hope to have him on Sunday."