Niners' Rookie Nick Bosa Will Make His Debut Sunday - NBC Bay Area
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Niners' Rookie Nick Bosa Will Make His Debut Sunday

Shanahan says the defensive end, sidelined by injury and held out of exhibition games, will start against Tampa Bay in the season opener

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    Niners' Rookie Nick Bosa Will Make His Debut Sunday
    Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
    San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 97) will play his first professional game Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    It’s official: Nick Bosa will make his long-awaited pro debut Sunday.

    The rookie defensive end, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, missed much of training camp and all of the exhibition games with an injury.

    That came after reports from early in camp, before the injury, that Bosa was a high-impact player who often got the best in one-on-one drills against Pro Bowl tackle Joe Staley.

    Staley told reporters in July – before Bosa suffered his injury – that Bosa has a chance to be “great.”

    The 49ers played it safe with Bosa, deciding to give him as much time as possible to get back to 100 percent, and that meant keeping him out of preseason games.

    But 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Friday morning said Bosa will play Sunday against the Bucs in Tampa, Fla.

    “Yeah, he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show. “We knew it was a tough injury. We weren’t sure if we were going to get him back this week because any time you have a high-ankle (sprain), it could be anywhere from four to eight weeks. It’s getting right up to four, and he’s had three good practices this week and he’s ready to go.”

    With Bosa on one side of the defensive line and former Chiefs pass-rush standout Dee Ford on the other, San Francisco has high hopes it can put much more pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2019.

    Shanahan says Bosa looks outstanding in practice.

    “The way he plays, the way he practiced, he just got back this week, but we wouldn’t put him out there if he wasn’t ready to go,” Shanahan said. “We expect him to make an impact.”

    Sunday’s game is set for kickoff at 1:25 p.m. Oddsmakers have made Tampa Bay a 1- to 1½-point favorite.