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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

49ers injury news: Retirement not being discussed for Dee Ford, says Kyle Shanahan

Oct 2, 2020 at 2:36 PM--

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford will likely land on injured reserve tomorrow. That will force the pass rusher to miss at least three games. Could it be more, though? Could it be a lot more?

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked that question on Friday. Just how serious is Ford's back injury? Is it career-threatening?

The coach was asked if retirement is even being discussed.

"It's not being discussed," Shanahan responded. "I don't want to say anything strong that people blow up, but similar to what I said a couple of weeks ago, when you're dealing with the back and things like that, everything's a concern. And also, that stuff does loosen up just randomly, too. That's why we're playing it slow.

"I just saw him here a little bit in the hallway on my way here. I think he's doing better than he was a couple of weeks ago, that's for sure. But it's something we've just got to be smart with, and you can't risk things when you're dealing with that part of the body.

"I wouldn't get to saying all that stuff, but that's why we're being cautious with it."

Ford has not played since the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. He complained of neck tightness during the days that followed, and further tests revealed the more-serious back injury.

Ford reached opposing quarterbacks 6.5 times last season — his first with the 49ers — while dealing with other injuries. He had three tackles during his one game this season.

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