The 49ers defensive line looks markedly different than it did in 2019.
Nick Bosa suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, and Dee Ford has been dealing with neck and back injuries since the season opener. On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh offered an update on both star players who have been out since very early in the season.
“Nick is in great spirits,” Saleh said. “He’s working his tail off trying to get through getting his strength back,” Saleh said. “He feels great. We miss his presence around the building. He’s one of those lovable guys.”
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year has left a void on the defensive line. Bosa’s nine sacks don’t really show how much impact he had in this first NFL season. He also forced a fumble, recovered two, racked up 47 total tackles -- 32 solo and 16 for a loss.
Bosa also consistently contributed to the pass rush, registering 25 quarterback hits in the 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV.
Dee Ford, who is under contract with the 49ers through the 2024 season, has yet to play up to his 2018 performance that garnered him a Pro Bowl nod. The veteran edge rusher has only been on the field for 12 games in two seasons with the 49ers.
The 49ers hope that Ford can make his way back to the field in the future, but they also want to be careful because of the sensitive nature of his injury.
“Dee, he’s here so we see him every day so he’s working through his stuff,” Saleh said. “Not exactly sure where he is with regards to everything but he’s in great spirits. Love that Dee Ford is around because he does have that amazing smile and he’s a hell of a personality so we enjoy his presence.”
It will be long time until either pass rusher is seen on the field again, but at least Saleh offered a little positive information on key pieces to the potential of the defensive line looking forward to 2021.
“Both of them are working through their ailments and trying to get better every day,” Saleh said.