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Ford's back prompts 49ers to keep him on season-ending IR

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SANTA CLARA -- Edge rusher Dee Ford's season came to an official end Wednesday.

And his time with the 49ers is likely over, too.

The 49ers on Wednesday kept Ford on injured reserve at the deadline the club had to make a decision whether to activate him to the team's 53-man roster or keep him on IR for the remainder of the season.

As coach Kyle Shanahan suggested on Monday, the decision was made to keep Ford sidelined due to a troublesome back condition that prevented Ford from being available for much of the past two seasons.

"He had to be good by today, and he's not, so we're shutting him down," Shanahan said.

Ford, 30, has battled a back issue over several seasons. The club placed him on Injured reserve on Nov. 6.

The 49ers opened the practice window for Ford on Nov. 25. During his open practice window, Ford initially tried to get on the field but experienced setbacks along the way.

Ford's situation places his football future in question. Although he remains under contract to the 49ers for one more season, the sides renegotiated his original deal to open the door for the sides to part ways during the 2022 offseason.

Ford came to the 49ers in a 2019 trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round draft pick. The 49ers signed him to a new five-year, $87.5 million contract. He was coming off a career-best 13-sack season with the Chiefs in 2018.


But he appeared in just 18 regular-season games in three seasons with the 49ers. In those games, he registered 9.5 sacks to show flashes of the player the 49ers hoped they would be getting. Ford had one sack in three games during the 49ers' 2019 postseason run to the Super Bowl.

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Ford had three sacks in six games this season after being limited to just one game in 2020 due to his back condition.

Ford is not expected to return to the 49ers next season. The club would save approximately $2 million with his release while he would still account for nearly $10 million in cap money on next year's salary cap.

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