Defensive back Jimmie Ward, the longest tenured San Francisco 49ers player on the roster last season, will continue his playing career with the Houston Texans. After spending the past nine seasons with the red and gold, he will be rejoining former 49ers defensive coordinator and recently hired Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans in the AFC South. Ward is coming off an incredibly productive season with San Francisco despite dealing with a couple injuries over the course of 2022. He was positioned primarily as a nickelback and closed out the regular season slate with 50 total tackles, a career-high three interceptions and five passes defended.
"Jimmie had a fantastic year," general manager John Lynch said at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. "I think the coolest thing about him moving to the nickel, he touched the ball more than he's ever touched... It adds to who he is as a player to show that he has that kind of versatility."
2022 Season Highlights
- Ward was named a team captain for the second time in his nine-year career with the 49ers.
- The veteran defensive back registered five tackles and intercepted Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 11 during the NFL International Series Game in Mexico City.
- Ward repeated his performance from Week 11 in Week 13, recording five tackles and intercepting Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
- In Week 14, Ward stacked the stat sheet with another eight tackles, a pass defended and a forced fumble. The forced fumble was the third of his career and his first since the 2020 season.
- Against the Washington Commanders, Ward registered four tackles, a pass defended and his third pick of the season. Interception No. 3 marked his single-season career-high in interceptions and brought his career total up to seven.
San Francisco 49ers Notes and Career Highs
- Ward was a first round pick of the 2014 NFL Draft and, prior to his departure, was the longest tenured player on the roster.
- The two-time captain has appeared in 106 regular season games and nine playoff contests for San Francisco.
- Ward set his career high in single game tackles during the 2016 season, recording 12 against the New York Jets, and a postseason career high of 10 tackles in Super Bowl LIV versus the Kansas City Chiefs.