The San Francisco 49ers open up their 2019 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, and they're going to be a bit shorthanded at safety.

The veteran, Jimmie Ward, seemed to be penciled in as the starter at free safety this season. But after suffering a broken finger during practices leading up to Sunday's contest, which led to head coach Kyle Shanahan ruling him out for Week 1, the starting duties are getting passed along to second-year pro Tarvarius Moore.

Moore appears to be Shanahan's selection to start at free safety, according to the Sacramento Bee's Chris Biderman:


Moore made the switch from boundary cornerback to safety during OTAs and training camp, following Ward's earlier injury, a broken collarbone. Once Ward returned, it seemed as if Moore would revert back to a reserve role. Although the 49ers gave Moore a massive amount of snaps at safety during the preseason.

San Francisco also has Antone Exum to back up Moore, should the latter suffer an injury or need to be spelled in Tampa. Exum, who started seven games for San Francisco last season, can double at both safety spots.

The 49ers and Buccaneers kick off on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET from Raymond James Stadium.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.