Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan counting on Dee Ford to be ready for the playoffs but not before

Dec 19, 2019 at 12:37 PM--

Dee Ford did not play against the Atlanta Falcons after re-aggravating a hamstring injury the week before against the New Orleans Saints. The San Francisco 49ers veteran pass rusher is not expected to return to the field until the playoffs, with NFL Network reporting this week that Ford will require four weeks of recovery.

Ford isn't practicing with his teammates on Thursday. The session — the last of the week before Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Rams — is underway as I write this. The injured defender is doing some pass-rushing drills on the side and reportedly looking good doing so.

Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR on Thursday morning and discussed the timeline for Ford, saying a Week 17 return against the Seattle Seahawks remains unlikely. But the head coach is hopeful to have his injured pass rusher back for the playoffs.

"I'd be shocked if he was ready for Seattle," Shanahan told Paul McCaffrey, Adam Copeland, and Bonnie-Jill Laflin. "I'm counting on him being ready for the first playoff game, whether that's a Wildcard game or whether it's a week off and a divisional game at home.

"Dee Ford has been battling a lot of stuff this year. He so badly wanted to get back. He seemed like he was good. Came back in New Orleans, and got in a weird position and tweaked the same hamstring. That's something that we cannot do to him again. We can't have him come back versus Seattle and then go a few plays, and then let it happen.

"When Dee Ford is out there, he is a force. With us being in the playoffs, we know we're going to need him in the playoffs. We'd love to have him versus Seattle, but it's too big of a risk. We're already in the playoffs, and we've got to make sure we have him wherever it is, whether we're playing at home (or) playing on the road."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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