49ers’ Jimmy Ward broke hand vs. Panthers, still could play after surgery


On the first play of the 49ers’ 37-15 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, Jimmie Ward broke his hand and will have surgery on Tuesday.

Coach Kyle Shanahan shared on Monday that the veteran safety was in disbelief that the injury actually happened, which is why Ward stayed in the game for the first defensive snap.

“It happened on the first kickoff and in Jimmie Ward style, he truly did not want to accept that it was broken,” Shanahan said. “So he stayed in there for the next play and then he finally realized it was.”

Ward is no stranger to broken bones. Over his nine-year career with the 49ers, the versatile defensive back has suffered fractures in his foot, shoulder, collar bone, forearm and hand.

“That happened to him on the first play in Tampa Bay [in] 2018 too,” Shanahan said. “It was just unfortunate, and hopefully the surgery will go well and he will be able to come back and help us. But it was just a bad break he got.”

Shanahan is hopeful that Ward could return and play with a club-like cast on his injured hand as several players have done in the past. San Francisco alumni Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes were both seen with similar protection in games.

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The head coach added that there will need to be a post-surgery prognosis before that decision can be made, but there is a chance.

While Ward recovers, Tashaun Gipson and Talanoa Hufanga will hold down the safety positions as they have through Week 5. The club also has special teams standout George Odum and veteran Dontae Johnson on the practice squad.

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