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Kyle Shanahan Envisions More Snaps for Dee Ford

Flying under the radar for the 49ers is the playing time of Dee Ford.

Flying under the radar for the 49ers is the playing time of Dee Ford.

Ford has accounted for 23 defensive snaps in the last two games. That is ridiculously low. Ford has his injury concerns, but floating around 20 snaps or so is where he generally needs to be. Hopefully it starts to change as Kyle Shanahan envisions more snaps for Ford.

“I want him to play more, but you guys know what he's gone through this last year and a half and it still acts up on him sometimes. So, we have to be very smart with it. He's been there in mainly passing situations and so, that's not always dictated by, sometimes there aren't as many of those situations. Depending on how many third downs guys have and things like that, second-and-longs. But yeah, we want him to go more, but we have to be smart with them too. Happy to have him, where we hadn’t had him for all last year.”

The situational downs have dictated Ford’s playing time more than anything. While Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson threw a fair amount of times against the 49ers, not every single pass was an obvious passing situation. The 49ers are going to be as careful as possible with Ford. This is not a surprise. They’re not going to roll him out if they’re not absolutely sure of an incoming pass play.

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On the downside, you would like to roll out Ford for a few snaps more when you have an idea if the opposition is going to call a pass play. Ford is an effective pass rusher. Limiting him to just over double digit snap counts in a game could explain why the 49ers are struggling to create turnovers. They do not have their best pass rushing unit out there all the time. Certainly having Ford out there for the ideal 20 snaps a game increases the likelihood of a turnover.

Still, I can’t fully fault the 49ers. I’m sure they feel scarred from the injuries with Ford and are just happy they can get something out of him.