The San Francisco 49ers are hoping to remain relatively injury free during the upcoming season. While the team has added more depth to its roster during the offseason, the preference would be for the starters to be healthy for a full 16 games.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan heads into the 2019 season with a lot more confidence surrounding his roster's depth.

"We expect to have injuries," Shanahan said last month. "That's part of football. But, I'm definitely a lot more confident going into this year if that does happen. We have guys who have experience, and we also have guys who have some talent who can step in and help us out."

Shanahan and the 49ers believe new pass rusher Dee Ford can make a significant impact this season. The team's defense tied for No. 22 last season when it comes to bringing down opposing quarterbacks. Ford, along with the addition of rookie pass rusher Nick Bosa, represents an upgrade in that area.

While with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, Ford dealt with a herniated disc in his back and was limited to six games. He had just two sacks that season after a 10-sack performance a year earlier. Ford answered the down season by racking up a career-high 13 sacks last year, but it wasn't enough to sway some skeptical fans who felt 2016 and 2018 might have been flukes.

"It's crazy how the brain works," Ford said after being traded to the 49ers in March. "It's almost like, once you lie to somebody, they only remember you as a liar. So, once I was presented to them as a player that struggled, I was always that player that struggled."

Ford's 2018 campaign was enough to convince Thomas Frank Carr of Pro Football Focus that the 49ers can depend on the pass rusher. The analytics site recently named him among its list of the "NFL's defensive iron men of the 2018 season." The list looks at players who graded over 80.0 according to PFF's unique rating scale and played at least 80 percent of available snaps during the regular season.

Ford's overall regular-season grade of 88.6 was the best among edge defenders. Here is what Carr had to write about the former Chief turned 49ers pass rusher:

"In an era of platoon pass-rushers, Dee Ford hardly came off the field last season and logged the most snaps of any pass-rusher. He led the NFL with 78 pressures and led all edge rushers with a pass-rushing grade of 91.0."

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.