John Lynch: Dee Ford not guaranteed to be ready for start of next season

Divisional Round - Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers
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San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch said on Monday that defensive end Dee Ford isn’t guaranteed to be ready for the start of the 2021 season because of ongoing back problems.

Via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Ford’s rehabilitation process from a back injury has been a bit rocky. The injury limited him to just one game played this season.

I can’t tell you with great (certainty) that, yeah, he’s going to be ready for 2021,” Lynch said. “We’re working hard — and he is working hard — to try to get there.

“When you’re dealing with a part of your body — the back — sometimes these things take more time. I think Dee tries to stay encouraged. But I think it’s been a struggle for him. And we try to stay encouraged as well.”

Since coming to the 49ers in a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the 2019 season, Ford has managed to appear in just 12 games for the team. Of the 12 games he’s appeared in, he’s played over 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps just twice. Both games happened to be the season openers.

Ford had knee issues and a hamstring injury that limited his time on the field last year. He’s also had previous issues with his back that included a herniated disc and a surgery for a lumbar discectomy