Ronald Blair is close to rejoining the 49ers.
The defensive lineman, who was released in March after missing the 2020 season over complications from an ACL injury suffered in November 2019, is meeting with team doctors Thursday, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area. Upon passing a physical, Blair will be eligible to re-sign with the team that picked him in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Blair made a name for himself in 2018, his last full NFL season, as he recorded 5.5 sacks and 36 total tackles — 24 solo, 10 for a loss -- in 16 games. Blair registered three sacks in nine games in 2019, and was a solid rotational contributor.
Blair is a known favorite of now-New York Jets coach Robert Saleh and 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. The 49ers' hope was for Blair to return to the rotation at the beginning of 2020, but the fifth-year pro experienced a setback that required a second knee surgery in October.
Blair could be an important part of a 49ers defense that returns many key members of the 2019 roster that helped the team reach Super Bowl LIV. Blair would help add depth to the line that isn't certain about edge rusher Dee Ford's return.
Blair often was seen working out with 49ers medical staff throughout his year off the field, and he then rehabbed in Houston during the offseason.