SANTA CLARA – Safety Jimmie Ward was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp with a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced Friday morning.
Third-year player Jaquiski Tartt, who spent the offseason program learning both safety positions, took over in Ward's spot for the team's first practice of training camp.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Thursday that all of their players were healthy and no players would be headed to PUP or the non-football injury list.
But that was before the 49ers were scheduled to have their conditioning test. Ward sustained the injury on Thursday during the team's conditioning test. The team lists him as "week to week."
“He did it in our conditioning test, which was unfortunate for him and for us, obviously," Shanahan said following the 49ers' first practice of camp. "He tweaked it halfway through it. We don’t think it was a full pull or anything, but we want to be smart and safe with it. You never know with those things how long they’ll take. We don’t think it’s anything too serious, but we want to definitely be safe with it.”
Ward can be activated to begin practice at any time. Ward is also eligible to begin the regular season on the PUP list. Any player who opens the regular season on PUP is ineligible for the first six weeks of the season.
Ward is expected to be one of the key members of the 49ers' defense from the free safety position. His role is dubbed "The Eraser," fellow safety Eric Reid said, because of his role as a playmaker in the secondary. However, one of the major questions about Ward is his ability to remain healthy through the rigors of an NFL season.
Ward missed eight games as a rookie due to a foot injury. Last year, he sat out five games due to a shoulder injury.