Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

DeForest Buckner says Nick Bosa is ‘NFL-ready,’ expects 49ers contract to be resolved toward the end of the season

Aug 14, 2019 at 11:17 AM--

Nick Bosa was seen doing some light conditioning work with San Francisco 49ers trainers during Wednesday's practice. That is an encouraging sight for a team that hopes to have its rookie defensive end and top draft pick available for Week 1 of the regular season.

Bosa is dealing with an ankle injury he sustained during an August 7 practice. Head coach Kyle Shanahan immediately feared the worst — that the injury might be season-ending. However, it wasn't as bad as it first looked, and the timeframe for his return is weeks, not months.

That was great news because Bosa is expected to be a big part of the defense in his first NFL season. He is one of two players brought in this offseason to upgrade the unit's pass rush. The other, of course, is veteran pass rusher Dee Ford.

Bosa's practices before his injury created excitement for the future of the young defensive star. General manager John Lynch recently called him a "polished football player," which is high praise for a rookie. Bosa has quickly earned the respect of teammates like tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, who are tasked with blocking him during practices, and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who lines up with him along the defensive front.

Buckner recently sat down with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network during the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast and discussed the rookie pass rusher.

"I was just expecting a well-polished guy coming out of college, and he was just that coming into camp," Buckner told Rapoport. "He's been dominating every day at his position. Obviously, he's still young, and (has) things to work on, but he's NFL-ready, for sure. He's been doing some really great things on the D-line, helping us out on the outside. Seeing him every day working, it's exciting to see."

Another topic of discussion was Buckner's (hopefully) impending contract extension. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is entering his fourth NFL season and is under contract through the 2020 season thanks to the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Still, the 49ers would like to make sure Buckner remains with the team for the foreseeable future and have been trying to work out an extension for the 25-year-old.

Buckner, however, is leaving the contract talk in the hands of his agents. Instead, he remains focused on the upcoming season.

"It's honestly things for my agents to figure out," Buckner said. "I'm really just focused on the year, to be honest. As the year goes on, maybe there will be talking throughout the season, but I really see things happening towards the end of the season, really for contract extensions and stuff like that. I'm just really focused on the season and taking it one day at a time."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Buckner below. It begins at about the 48:20 mark.

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