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49ers GM John Lynch gives a thumbs-up to Nick Bosa’s recovery but isn’t certain about Dee Ford

Jan 4, 2021 at 2:14 PM--

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There's good news and not-so-good news for the San Francisco 49ers on the defensive end front as the 2020 season comes to a close.

No position on the San Francisco 49ers was hit harder with injuries over the course of the 2020 season than defensive end, with the absences of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford in particular resulting in a significant negative impact for the team's pass rush. But while all signs are positive in terms of Bosa being ready for the 2021 season, it sounds like things aren't as certain when it comes to Ford.

49ers general manager John Lynch discussed the current status of each player during his year-end press conference on Monday, and while his tone was upbeat about Bosa's recovery from a season-ending torn ACL, he sounded much less optimistic in regards to the back problems that cost Ford the majority of the 2020 campaign. Lynch went so far as to suggest he isn't sure at this point if Ford will be ready for the start of the upcoming season.

"That's a good question -- I think one we're looking for clarity on," Lynch said. "Our sole focus right now is to help Dee in any way that we can to get him healthy. I think everybody understands we're a better football team when Dee's out there. He's an impactful player. He's a finisher. He's pretty emblematic of a lot of the issues that plagued our team this year. You know the old saying -- the best ability is availability, and we weren't available enough this year, and that went for Dee.

"When you're dealing with that part of your body -- the back -- sometimes these things take more time. I think Dee tries to stay encouraged but I think it's been a struggle for him. We try to stay encouraged as well, but I can't tell you with great absolute (certainty) that yeah, he's going to be ready. We're working hard and he's working hard to try to get there."

As for Bosa, Lynch's comments echoed a sense of optimism that others have shared in recent weeks. Bosa is currently rehabbing away from the team, but the 49ers are more than happy with the news they've received on that front.

"Bosa's doing great in his recovery," Lynch said. "He had a significant injury to his knee, but like everything in life, he attacks it head on, 100 percent. The only thing with him is pulling him back so he's not doing too much. We've kept in good contact with Nick, with the people who he's training with. With COVID, we felt like it was best to get him out of the building. He went down to Orange County. He's been down there working with some great people and really making tremendous progress. We're very pleased with where he's at."

It remains to be seen what (if anything else) the 49ers do over the offseason to shore up the defensive end position, but a healthy Dee Ford and Nick Bosa would be the best news the team could receive on that front. So far, however, it seems like they can only rely on half of that being the case.

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