What Nick Bosa is missing while being sidelined for 49ers OTAs with injury


What Nick Bosa is missing while being sidelined for 49ers OTAs with injury

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who missed all but the first 2 1/2 games of his final college season, made it to the 49ers’ practice field to participate in only one full practice.

Bosa is still walking around gingerly, a week after sustaining a low-grade right hamstring strain during a practice during the first week of organized team activities in Santa Clara. He likely will continue to be a spectator through the offseason-concluding mandatory team minicamp in mid-June.

Barring a setback in rehabilitation or training, Bosa is not expected to feel any negative impact from the injury when training camp opens in late-July. But Bosa is missing valuable practice snaps with his new team after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick.

“For him, you’d love for him to be out there just so he can go through and get his reps,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “It’s just the mindset and all that stuff that he’s missing, just get his legs under him. He hasn’t played football in a year. To get his sea legs back, if you will. That’s what I feel like he’s missing, but I’m not worried about him being able to catch up.”

Bosa enters the NFL with advanced skills for his age. He benefited from the experiences of his older brother, Joey, who is three years older than him. When Joey went to Ohio State, he worked under highly regarded defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Nick benefitted from the teachings of advanced techniques that his brother and Johnson passed onto him while he was still playing high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

New 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek witnessed Nick Bosa's special qualities from his college film and the brief time he worked with him on the practice field.

“Obviously, (he’s) a very sharp guy, extensive football knowledge,” Kocurek said. “(He) was coached very well in college by his college defensive line coach, so he has a very good understanding of the game, very good understanding of the techniques.

“And then just a good guy that guys seem to want to be around, like being around, and a team guy, an unselfish guy.”

[RELATED: The Choice -- Nick Bosa was born to rush the passer]

Bosa is expected to make a seamless entry into the team’s starting lineup for the start of the season. He is gaining knowledge of the team’s defensive system through meetings, studying the scheme and paying close attention to others who have played his position. He has also been watching plenty of game film of Ziggy Ansah and Kyle Vanden Bosch, who played defensive end for the Detroit Lions when Kocurek was an assistant there.

“He needs to get as many mental reps as he possibly can, watching the other guys,” Kocurek said. “It's sometimes hard when a guy gets nicked up and he has to watch from the sideline to realistically try to put himself in the play, but that's what he has to do right now because he can't go out there physically until he gets a little better.

“I think he'll be able to get back pretty quickly. He comes from a Big Ten school. He's been at a high level of competition basically his entire life, so I think once we get him back in there he'll integrate back in and be just fine.”

Kentavius Street, Jason Verrett only 49ers options to return from IR

Kentavius Street, Jason Verrett only 49ers options to return from IR

SANTA CLARA -- The list of 49ers on injured reserve who remain as possibilities to return to play later this season seemingly has been reduced to the maximum number of two.

Coach Kyle Shanahan essentially has ruled out the possibilities of wide receivers Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd from playing this season.

That leaves defensive lineman Kentavius Street and cornerback Jason Verrett as the only players who have chances of being activated off injured reserve before the end of the season.

“Those are guys that are working hard to get back and if we definitely had an injury at a certain spot, we’d probably make that decision sooner than later,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan said the 49ers intend to get both players on the practice field to give them chances to earn their way back onto the team’s 53-man roster.

Each NFL team is allowed to bring two players off injured reserve to return to action in the same season. Once a player begins practice, the club has a maximum of three weeks to activate the player to the 53-man roster, keep the player on injured reserve for the entirety of the season or release the player.

Taylor sustained a Jones fracture in his right foot in the second week of training camp and underwent surgery before the team’s first preseason game. He experienced complications from the surgery that have prevented him from being available at any point this season.

Hurd, a third-round draft pick from Baylor, had an impressive preseason debut against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 10 with two touchdown receptions but he has not appeared in a game since due to a stress reaction in his back. Shanahan suggested on Monday that Hurd will remain on injured reserve for the remainder of his rookie season.

“I don’t know if we’ve 100-percent ended that, but it has not been looking good, so that’s kind of out of sight, out of mind for me right now,” Shanahan said. “We might have more of an answer on that later in this week to just finalize that.”

When asked if that meant that Hurd would remain on injured reserve, Shanahan answered, “Yes, ultimately, that he won’t return. But, yeah, I know it’s been week-to-week here. We’ve been thinking about it, and I’m not thinking about it right now.”

Street and Verrett are eligible to begin practice, but the 49ers might wait until Week 14, Shanahan said.

Street sat out his entire rookie season after sustaining a torn ACL in a pre-draft workout. He underwent a follow-up arthroscopic knee surgery in late-August that landed him on injured reserve. The 49ers selected Street in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of North Carolina State.

The 49ers placed Verrett, 28, on injured reserve on Oct. 3 with a knee condition after he appeared in one game this season. The 49ers signed Verrett to a one-year contract in the offseason.

[RELATED: Shanahan says Ford could miss next couple of 49ers games]

Shanahan said Street and Verrett remain as options to return to the active roster this season if the 49ers need another defensive lineman or cornerback due to injuries later in the season.

“They’re getting healthy,” Shanahan said. “I think both of them are going to have an opportunity to do that. It’s not something we’d do right now, but definitely could be an option if we have any injuries at either of those positions.”

Jerry Rice predicts 49ers go undefeated vs. Packers, Ravens, Saints

Jerry Rice predicts 49ers go undefeated vs. Packers, Ravens, Saints

For the second straight week, the end of a 49ers game came down to the wire. On Sunday, however, San Francisco bounced back with a wild 36-26 win over the Cardinals after a heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks the week before. 

The back half of the 49ers' schedule continues to get tougher, too, starting with a clash against the Packers this Sunday. It doesn't get any easier after that. 

The 49ers are ramping up for an incredibly tough three-game stretch against the Packers (8-2), Ravens (8-2) and Saints (8-2), with the final two being on the road. Jerry Rice isn't worried, though. 

"They gonna win them all," Rice predicted Monday on 95.7 The Game

Rice has continued to claim the 49ers will win the Super Bowl throughout this season. Even after showing cracks in their armor against the Seahawks and Cardinals, he isn't wavering. 

The greatest to ever catch a football believes in this year's 49ers. 

"The Niners are going to do it, man," Rice continued. "I'm serious. They're going to find a way. Yeah, they've got a big task coming up with the Packers, but this team is going to rise to the occasion, and they're going to get the job done."

[RELATED: Where 49ers stand in hopes of earning top seed in NFC]

Rice says the key to beating the Packers will be a fast start from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the rest of the 49ers. While Jimmy G joined Joe Montana and Steve Young in record books against Arizona with over 400 yards passing and four touchdowns, he threw two more interceptions. 

If Garoppolo and the rest of the 49ers get sloppy in a heated battle with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, it could be a long night at Levi's Stadium to start this three-game stretch against serious contenders. Rice, for one, doesn't seem too concerned about that.