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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dee Ford unlikely to return to 49ers in 2022, says John Lynch

Mar 28, 2022 at 11:00 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers may finally be giving up hope on veteran pass rusher Dee Ford. General manager John Lynch, speaking with reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Monday, didn't sound optimistic about Ford's chances of returning to the team in 2022.

"I don't see a lot of hope in him being a factor for us on the field moving forward," Lynch told the media.

Ford's ongoing back injury has forced the defender to miss a significant amount of time during his stint with the 49ers. He has only appeared in 18 regular-season games and taken part in 378 snaps in his three seasons with San Francisco.

"I think we tried to be as patient as possible, and no fault of Dee, he just ran into a bad situation with his back, where he couldn't get healthy," Lynch said via NBC Sports Bay Area.

In 2019, the 49ers sent a second-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Ford. San Francisco signed him to a five-year, $85.5 million deal following the trade. The plan was to have Ford serve as a longtime bookend across from Nick Bosa. That never materialized.

The 49ers placed Ford on injured reserve on November 6, 2021, due to the back issues. The team opened his practice window on November 25, 2021, but was forced to shut him down for the season because he couldn't get on the field.

Ford registered 22 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, 10 quarterback hits, 9.5 sacks, a pass defensed, and three forced fumbles during his three seasons with San Francisco.

What will the 49ers do to transition Ford off the roster?

"We'll figure that out, exactly what the transaction will be," Lynch said. "But not enough hope and progress to see him playing for us moving forward."

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