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49ers place CB Jimmie Ward on IR, promote CB Prince Charles Iworah

Dec 20, 2016 at 12:54 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers have placed CB Jimmie Ward on injured reserve. Ward left Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and was eventually carted to the locker room for evaluation. To take the place of Ward on the roster, the team has promoted rookie CB Prince Charles Iworah from the practice squad.

The 49ers have also announced that they have signed CB Duke Thomas to the practice squad.

Ward becomes the 16th player that the 49ers have placed on injured reserve and the 4th in the past 24 hours. Late last month, the 49ers coaching staff praised Ward and went as far as to declare that he was the team's best cornerback.

49ers head coach Chip Kelly was asked why Ward was not moved to safety following the season-ending injury to FS Eric Reid, a move that might have seemed natural given Ward's college experience. "We think Jimmie's our best corner," Kelly said. "I think that matchup, that he's our best corner and our best nickel. The ability to cover man to man in this league is first and foremost so if you ask anybody, 'What do you want when you're looking at the secondary?' Everybody wants a corner before they want a safety. We thought that's Jimmie's best position. We could move him to safety but we think we'd be really short changed out of the corner spot."

"I think Jimmie Ward's a corner in our system," said 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil the day before.

Ward started a career-high 10 out of 11 games played this season. He had 53 tackles, one interception, and a career-high 12 passes defended in 2016.

Iworah was selected out of Western Kentucky University by the 49ers in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent training camp with the team but was waived on September 3. The next day, the 49ers signed Iworah to the practice squad, where he has remained all season.

Thomas was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent on May 6. He played college football at the University of Texas. Thomas was waived by Houston on September 8, signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad on October 11, and later waived on October 21.

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