The San Francisco 49ers today announced that they have officially placed first-round pick (No. 30) DB Jimmie Ward on the IR (injured reserve) abruptly ending his rookie season. A player that was supposed to hold down the nickel role, Ward has been fighting an uphill battle since being drafted by the team. Ward, whose draft stock may have improved had it not been for a Jones fracture (fracture to his fifth metatarsal) injury, will now be looking to rehab that same foot as he injured it once again last week against the New Orleans Saints. It remains unclear if this recent injury is related to his previous Jones fracture but it is indeed the same foot.
With Ward out for the remainder of the 2014 season, they will now likely insert promising CB Perrish Cox as the nickel corner. A player that has done a nice job in the past as he filled in nicely for CB Carlos Rogers in last year’s playoff run, Cox will now be delegated to that same role moving forward in nickel packages. With Ward being placed on IR, that leaves one roster spot vacant and was quickly filled with OLB Aldon Smith as he was promoted to the active 53-man roster.