The 49ers placed eight players on either the PUP or NFI lists on Thursday, which leaves them ineligible to practice with the team until the Niners remove those designations.
Safety Jimmie Ward was not placed on either list, however, and that means the 2014 first-round pick’s foot has healed enough for him to take the field when the team opens camp on Thursday. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that is the plan, leaving Ward set for his first practice time with the team since he was selected in May.
Ward is listed as a safety, although he’s not expected to challenge for early playing time at a spot where the team already has Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid as starters.
Instead, Ward’s best chance at early playing time will come as the team’s nickel cornerback. With Carlos Rogers gone, the team used Perrish Cox and Darryl Morris at the position during the spring, but Ward played some corner at Northern Illinois and he is expected to compete with the other two players for snaps at the spot as camp unfolds.