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49ers Place Dee Ford on Injured Reserve with Back Injury

He has the same back injury that cost him all but one game last season.
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Are you really surprised?

The 49ers placed Dee Ford on the Injured Reserve List on Saturday. He has the same back injury that cost him all but one game last season, and the same back injury he had when the 49ers traded a second-round pick for him and gave him an $85-million extension.

Apparently, the 49ers thought they could fix Ford's back -- they often convince themselves they can fix degenerative injuries. See: Javon Kinlaw. So far, the 49ers haven't fixed anything.

"That's never fully gone away," head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Ford's back injury. "That's something he'll deal with most likely forever. So something that's on again, off again. The reason it’s mentioned for the first time, is we think it came up with this concussion. Some of the symptoms presented as a concussion last week with the hit he took, but it acted up some stuff in the back that has been bothering him this week."

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So far this season, Ford has played 106 snaps and recorded three sacks -- a banner season for him. Week 4 against the Seahawks, he recorded two sacks in just 12 snaps. But Week 5, he played just 11 snaps and recorded 0 sacks, and the next game he played 17 snaps and reinjured his back. He is elligible to return in three weeks, but it's possible he'll miss the rest of the season just like he did last year.

The 49ers should learn two lessons here: One: Never trade a first-, second- or third-round pick for an injured veteran. Two: Don't renegotiate the contract of an injured veteran.

This offseason, the 49ers needed cap space, so they converted more than $11 million of Ford's salary into a signing bonus, which allowed them to sign lots of other veterans. But this move makes it extremely difficult for the 49ers to get rid of Ford next season. Cutting him before June 1 would cost the 49ers $9.8 million in dead money and save them only $2 million in cap space. Not worth it.

The 49ers are stuck with Ford and his back for another year.

Not great.