Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Dee Ford calls report of impending release ‘false’

Dec 15, 2021 at 9:12 AM--

On Tuesday night, Pro Football Talk reported that veteran pass rusher Dee Ford informed teammates that he expected the San Francisco 49ers to release him.

"Per a league source, Ford has informed teammates that he expects to be released as soon as Wednesday," wrote Mike Florio.

Florio added, "As Ford tells it to colleagues, he expects that the team will simply cut its losses and move on."

According to NFL reporter Mike Silver, besides Ford speaking to his teammates, that report is entirely false.

"The articles saying I told my teammates I expected to be released are false," Ford told Silver via a text message. "I'm going to be getting rehab and taking the time needed to get back and I was saying goodbye to the boys because I wouldn't be in the building. We are still rolling. We're just taking the time needed."

The 49ers placed Ford on injured reserve on November 6 due to chronic back issues. The team opened his practice window on November 25 and has until Wednesday to activate him off injured reserve or lose him for the season.

"That's something that I never can predict," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday of Ford's status. "But I'll be surprised if he's back. I think we'll just have to continue playing without him."

A decision to release Ford would have been a curious one, considering the minimal salary-cap savings from such a move. It sounds like, rather than an outright release, Ford will be departing the team to focus on getting healthy and returning to the football field at some point after this season.

"This is a chronic issue," Ford said in October. "Yeah, my disc may have had a new herniation in my L5; I think that's the disc ... If guys have these issues in their knees, our knees go bad. Once you degenerate so much muscle, you get into ligaments and tendons ... we all feel it. We get older, and you start to feel your knees start popping, clicking, and cracking. Well, that was my spine."

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