Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh would like Nick Bosa to practice before determining if the 49ers rookie will play vs. Bengals

Sep 12, 2019 at 1:36 PM--

San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa went into his NFL debut recovering from an ankle sprain suffered early in training camp. The injury kept him out of the entire preseason so Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was his first on-field action as a pro.

Bosa ended up aggravating the injury a bit on the first play of the game, general manager John Lynch revealed on Thursday. The defender played through the discomfort, and it left his ankle sore after leaving Raymond James Stadium.

Bosa was not on the field for Wednesday's practice in Youngstown, Ohio, where the 49ers are staying this week. He was not on the field on Thursday either. He will get one more chance to practice on Friday before the coaches decide whether or not to allow him to play on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While Lynch sounded confident on Thursday morning that Bosa will be available in some capacity against the Bengals, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh would like to see his rookie pass rusher get at least one practice in first.

"He's working with the performance staff trying to get ready for Sunday, and (then) we'll see," Saleh told reporters in Youngstown.

The defensive coordinator added: "I always think they [need to practice to play] but this is a new day and age, right? They're coming out there, playing without practicing, but I'd like to see him practice because I do think that there's things that you want to try and work on as a football player, in general, even if you're a 10-year vet. I think practice is valuable, for sure."

Bosa was impactful against the Buccaneers and recorded his first NFL sack in the game despite playing through some discomfort. While he looked impressive, there is still a lot for the rookie, who hasn't gotten a whole lot of reps under his belt, to learn.

"With the rookies, that first game, there's always going to be something to learn from," Saleh said of Bosa. "He's going to go into this game with a whole new thought, and he's going to have a whole new thought of things he needs to work on.

"You're never — especially as a rookie — you're always evolving your game and trying to figure out how to best utilize your strengths and your skillset."

The 49ers will travel from Youngstown to Cincinnati on Friday afternoon. The two teams kick off from Paul Brown Stadium at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT).

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