SANTA CLARA -- Just like 49ers fans, coach Kyle Shanahan was curious to see how his star pass rushers are progressing, even on Day 1 of training camp.
Neither Dee Ford nor Nick Bosa participated in team drills, but they did finish the full amount of individual work with their position group. Both worked on the sleds and did agility drills without limitations.
Bosa, who is only wearing a light neoprene-type sleeve on his knee, appears to be at full health, but the 49ers still will take it slow in bringing the NFL 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year back into the fold.
Shanahan admitted he peeked over at the group while Bosa and Ford were working.
“A little bit, only a couple of times,” Shanahan said. “Nick takes care of himself better than anyone I’ve ever been around. The guy has a one-track mind, and it’s awesome. We knew he’d come in great. Now it’s just about how much time it has been since his injury.
“Moving and looking like the player he is isn’t the issue. It’s just about building up the right way, so when he gets out there with 22 people, he can react and feel safe when he gets caught in an awkward position. We’re going to take our time with that and be smart."
Ford also looked like he was returning to his old ways in drills, which he has missed for nearly a year.
After appearing in Week 1 of the 2020 season, the veteran pass rusher missed the remainder of the year while dealing with a lingering neck and back injury.
Shanahan’s optimism for Ford to be available for the 2021 season is tempered. Ford has appeared in just 12 regular-season games since arriving in Santa Clara two years ago. He also played only sparingly in the team’s playoff and Super Bowl run in 2019.
“I’ve seen the history, and we’ve got to be smart with it,” Shanahan said. “It’s been a tough situation for us and him going through it, with the sensitivity of his injury. I try to never get too high or too low with it. If Dee Ford is healthy and can play, we all know how much he can help and how much he did when he was healthy in 2019.
“I keep my fingers crossed, but I sit there and I’m not going to hope or wish, I’m just going to go about my business, and if things work out for him, it’s going to be a hell of a deal for him and a hell of a deal for the 49ers.”