Safety Jimmie Ward of the San Francisco 49ers could miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury.

 Safety Jimmie Ward of the San Francisco 49ers could miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury.

Safety Jimmie Ward of the San Francisco 49ers could miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury.

In the broadcast from Amazon, Lynch added, "He lets us do what we do." He is a safety who both plays and covers like a corner. He's frequently our best cover man, so losing him is devastating. But we must find a way to take charge.

To bolster the depth and competition with Ward out, the Niners added veteran safety Tashaun Gipson on Monday. Dontae Johnson will be playing in his seventh NFL season. During training camp, he switched from cornerback to safety and is now getting a lot of attention at free safety after just getting over a rib injury.

Since Ward's injury, Tarvarius Moore and George Odum have both been taking snaps in his place.

According to league regulations, the 49ers cannot make the decision to place Ward on injured reserve with the possibility of recovery until after the initial 53-man roster has been reduced to 28.

Therefore, before placing Ward on injured reserve on Wednesday after 4 p.m. ET, the Niners must keep him on the 53-man roster. He would have to sit out the entire season if they had done it earlier. On August 14, Ward sustained a "pretty bad" hamstring injury, according to coach Kyle Shanahan. Although the Niners expected him to miss some time, Ward might miss the first month of the season as a result.

On Thursday's final preseason game against the Houston Texans, the San Francisco 49ers' general manager, John Lynch, said that Ward is likely to start the season on injured reserve, which would mean he would miss the first four games. 

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