49ers

49ers' Nick Bosa misses practice again, could still play vs. Bengals

49ers' Nick Bosa misses practice again, could still play vs. Bengals

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The 49ers had their second practice without rookie defensive end Nick Bosa participating Thursday, following their 31-17 win Sunday over the Bucs. 

The team has not yet ruled him out for its Week 2 matchup in Cincinnati, but Bosa clearly is still feeling the effects of playing a full game on his injured ankle. 

In Tampa, immediately after the game, Bosa appeared positive about the state of his injury. 

“Good, a little sore, just getting back into it,” Bosa said “It’s a long game and you can’t really simulate it with practice so, definitely sore but I’ll be fine. An ankle sprain is something you kind of have to work through a little bit of pain in the beginning. Pretty happy that I got through the whole game and I started to pick it up at the end and we got the win.” 

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh would like to see Bosa in practice, though he knows the rookie could still play after missing the week in Youngstown. Saleh even referred to Richard Sherman’s desire to practice every day as a barometer of how important the work is. 

[Bosa’s] working with the performance staff trying to get ready for Sunday and we’ll see,” Saleh said. “I’d like to see him practice because I do think there’s things that you want to try to work on as a football player in general, even if you’re a 10-year vet, to me.

“I think practice is valuable. For Sherm it’s valuable. You ask Sherm, ‘Do you want a vet day?’ ‘No, I need these looks.’ So that’s Sherm speaking. He needs those looks, he wants to go through practice, because they are important so I’d imagine it’s be the same for him.” 

Tevin Coleman will be unavailable in Cincinnati due to a high ankle sprain in the first play against the Bucs. The team likely will promote Jeff Wilson Jr. from the practice squad later this week. 

[RELATED: Shanahan, Taylor's paths crossed before coaching in NFL]

Jimmie Ward looks to be able to play with a protective contraption on his right hand to protect his broken finger. He spent a second practice in a blue non-contact jersey. 

Linebacker Mark Nzeocha returned to practice after an illness caused him to leave early on Wednesday. Joe Staley also returned after his usual vet day off. 

DID NOT PRACTICE
Nick Bosa (ankle)
Tevin Coleman (ankle) 
Trent Taylor (foot) 
Jalen Hurd (back)

LIMITED
Jimmie Ward (finger)

FULL PARTICIPATION 
Mark Nzeocha (illness)
Joe Staley (vet day)

Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy identifies 'the heart and soul' of 49ers defense

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USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES

Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy identifies 'the heart and soul' of 49ers defense

The Kansas City Chiefs offense is stacked. They have an elite quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and a track team of receivers in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce, the best tight end east of George Kittle.

They shouldn’t fear anybody. Not with that lineup. They do have great respect for the 49ers defense, its ferocious front in particular.

That’s an appropriate stance. The 49ers might have the NFL’s best defensive line, featuring Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead.

The 49ers have the league’s best pass defense and ranked fifth with 48 sacks during the regular season. They have nine more this postseason, largely by taking opponents off schedule and setting up favorable pass-rush situations.

All that’s why the Chiefs attack versus the 49ers defense is strength on strength. Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy understands that and identifies what makes the 49ers go.

“They are fast, and they do a great job of rushing the passer,” Bieniemy said in his Thursday press conference. “They have some big boys up front. That’s the heart and soul of who they are. I’m not knocking anybody on that defense because everything starts up front. It’s just like on offense. We want our guys to be the heart and soul of who we are. Well, the heart and soul of that defense lies up front. Those guys do a great job of getting off the ball. On top of that, they have a couple of backers who just fly around. On the back end, those guys are playing very, very sound, with one hell of a leader in Richard Sherman.”

[RELATED: 49ers' Robert Saleh details what makes Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes elite]

The 49ers have linebacker depth and legit players in a secondary that plays its coverages well. It’s a complete unit that has earned Kanas City’s respect.

“Obviously they have a ton of playmakers on the defense with the defensive line, linebackers and in the secondary,” Mahomes said. “They have guys that have experience and they have young guys that are super talented and so you can see that the young guys have really grown as the season has gone on and they have learned from other guys around. They’re very sound in what they do and in the coverages that they play. For us, it’s about executing at a high level and knowing it’s going to be a challenge every single play.”

49ers prepare for Super Bowl 54 by practicing to Will Smith's "Miami"

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AP

49ers prepare for Super Bowl 54 by practicing to Will Smith's "Miami"

The 49ers are getting their Super Bowl game plan together. The team compared it to Christmas morning with a fresh packet of new plays to run in Miami against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In addition to the prep, the team needs to practice. For the most part, the players are saying they want to continue executing what they did during the regular season, but practices have a spicy new addition: The music.

The 49ers are taking their talents to South Beach which, naturally makes you think of Will Smith's famous 1997 hit: "Miami." The team embraced the song during one of their recent practices:

It's cute, yes -- and very appropriate for the big game.

No, you didn't ask for any suggestions to add to the Super Bowl playlist, but I will provide them anyway: 

- Enrique Iglesias: "Move to MIAMI" 

- Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine: "Conga"

- Pitbull: "Welcome to MIAMI"

[RELATED: Five moments that defined 49ers' journey to SB LIV]

Yep -- they can't head down to Miami without Estefan on their playlist.

The 49ers face the Chiefs on Feb. 2 for Super Bowl LIV. And it's nice to see that no matter how much work they have ahead of them, they're being loose and relaxed heading into the big game. 

 

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).