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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Dee Ford, Ronald Blair not expected back this season; Brandon Aiyuk, others to be activated from COVID list

Dec 1, 2020 at 10:16 AM


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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday and provided several updates on players. First, the injury updates.

Shanahan was holding out hope that defensive end Dee Ford would return from his back injury this season. The coach didn't sound too optimistic of that on Tuesday when asked if Ford might return.

"It's not looking like it," Shanahan said. "I mean, I'm not going to say no for sure. We're holding out hope but it's not looking like it."

The same is the case for center Weston Richburg and defensive end Ronald Blair.

"I don't (expect them to return this season)," Shanahan said. "Both of them had really bad setbacks with the stuff that happened in their surgeries. I know both of them are still around. I see them every day. I see them on every Zoom meeting. I see them leaving rehab all the time. I know they both are trying as hard as anyone, but it's not looking very good right now."

The good news is that Shanahan expects wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and the three other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list to be activated before the team leaves for its new home base in Arizona on Wednesday.

"My understanding is they'll all be off it today," Shanahan shared. "... My understanding is [Aiyuk] should be good to go, and all those guys (will be) totally normal for practice on Thursday (in Arizona)."

Shanahan added that he is still holding out hope that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle can return this season.

"I think they're in a similar boat with that," Shanahan explained. "That's not guaranteed. It's how they react here over the next couple of weeks. But they're just starting to get into it where they can get on the field — not with us, but on their own and do some stuff. That's hopefully going to be the last couple of weeks, whether it's two games or one game or none."

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