Good Morning Faithful,
Here are your top 49ers headlines for Thursday, September 3.
New and Notable
Nick Bosa, Dee Ford to be On Hand for Week 1, Kyle Shanahan 'Hopeful' for Others
During media availability yesterday, Kyle Shanahan projected the return of multiple high-profile players before the team's Week 1 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
- Dee Ford has missed the last week of practices while dealing with calf irritation and Nick Bosa underwent an MRI that revealed the pass rusher is dealing with a muscle strain. Shanahan expects both to be on hand for Week 1.
- Brandon Aiyuk was ruled "week-to-week" while recovering from a mild hamstring strain.
- George Kittle was sidelined while dealing with a tight hamstring. The 49ers eased the tight end back into practice on Wednesday.
Read all the updates here.
PFF's Top Defense
Pro Football Focus writer Anthony Treash released his rankings of all 32 NFL defenses heading into the 2020 season with San Francisco's vaunted defense coming in at the top spot. "The 49ers fielded the most improved defense of the 2019 season after going from 26th in EPA per play allowed in 2018 to second in 2019. And they deservedly lock up the No. 1 spot here ahead of the 2020 campaign," wrote Treash. "For starters, they have arguably the best pass-rush unit in the league. Reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa leads the way, and he will look to get his play to elite status in Year 2 after posting an 86.7 PFF grade in 2019 that ranked 11th at the position. Bosa's 80 total pressures over the regular season also smashed the PFF record for most total pressures by a first-year edge defender.
"The secondary is really where the big improvement took place last year, and Richard Sherman's play was a big reason why. At 31 years of age and just a couple of years removed from a torn Achilles, Sherman was the highest-graded cornerback in coverage last season. He allowed 35 yards or less in all but one regular-season game, routinely shutting down his side of the field."
The 49ers announced on Wednesday that they have signed defensive lineman Cameron Malveaux to a one-year deal. Malveaux originally entered the NFL after signing with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2017. Throughout his two-year career with the Dolphins (2017-18) and Arizona Cardinals (2018), he appeared in 13 games and registered 15 tackles, 2.0 sacks and one pass defensed. He signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Washington Football Team on December 30, 2019 and was waived by the team on August 3, 2020.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers held their annual kickoff to the season, Players for a Purpose presented by SAP. Even though this year's event was held virtually, players, coaches and the Faithful still showed up to support the 49ers Foundation and celebrate the start of the 2020 season. Check out some of the top photos from Playmakers Pictionary presented by U.S. Bank below. 👇
During the 49ers Foundation's annual fundraising event, 49ers players competed in a virtual game of Playmakers Pictionary presented by U.S. Bank with the Faithful.
On Pro Football Focus' latest position ranking of NFL safeties heading into the 2020 season, Jimmie Ward came in at No. 22. "Last year, Ward was excellent as the 49ers' starting free safety," wrote Ben Linsey. "The 49ers allowed just 10 completions on passes 20 or more yards downfield during the 2019 regular season — the fewest in the NFL by six — and Ward gets a lot of the credit for that with his 84.9 overall grade on the season."
While speaking with the media yesterday, Solomon Thomas discussed his comfortability lining up in the interior defensive line and reviewed his offseason training regimen to add weight in preparation for the 2020 season. Watch the full video below.
Because we could all use a laugh to start the day.