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It will take more than Ansah, Jordan for 49ers to replace Bosa

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Ziggy Ansah

The 49ers have a plan for replacing defensive end Nick Bosa.

And it involves more than just adding free-agent edge rushers Ziggy Ansah and Dion Jordan to the roster.

“You can't do it with one guy,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Everyone's got to step it up. Everyone knows how great of a player Nick is. Teams do go through this. We lost our quarterback at the beginning of the year two years ago.

“You look at things like Denver, losing a player like Von (Miller) before the season started. So it's all very similar to losing a guy like Nick.”

But it’s not just losing Bosa, who is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. The 49ers also have lost a couple of the players who would be expected to help compensate for the absence of a player considered a favorite to be the NFL Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Dee Ford, the edge rusher on the other side, is out indefinitely with a worrisome neck and back condition. And inside pass rusher Solomon Thomas is also out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee –- and injury sustained two snaps after Bosa was carted off the field.

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The immediate roster moves are to add Ansah and Jordan to the 53-man roster.


Ansah agreed to terms on a one-year contract on Monday and joined his new teammates in West Virginia, where the club is staying and preparing for its Week 3 game against the New York Giants. The 49ers on Wednesday promoted Jordan from the practice squad to the active roster.

Ansah has 50.5 sacks in 90 NFL games since entering the league in 2013 as the No. 5 overall pick of the Detroit Lions out of BYU.

His career got off to a strong start, but injuries have limited him in recent seasons. In 18 games the past two years, Ansah registered 6.5 sacks, including 2.5 sacks in 11 games a year ago with Seattle.

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Ansah will be reunited with Kris Kocurek, his defensive line coach from most of his time with the Lions. Shanahan is excited to add him to the roster because his offenses have gone up against him in the past.

“I played against Ziggy a ton,” Shanahan said. “He's a hell of a player. Can rush the passer and play the run well, so hopefully he can get in, get him in here soon and get him caught up.

“We were going to try to do it anyways, but the urgency of that has definitely gone up with some of the injuries we've had.”

Jordan was the No. 3 pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2013. He has just 10.5 sacks in 50 games since entering the league with injuries and off-field issues impacting his production.

This is one of those situations where everyone along the defensive front has to supply a little more, including Arik Armstead and first-round draft pick Javon Kinlaw.

The 49ers have gotten good contributions from reserve defensive lineman Kerry Hyder. The club expects to receive a mid-season boost with the return of Ronald Blair, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list while continuing to rehab from a torn ACL he sustained in November.