The biggest fear of any NFL team in training camp is losing a key player to injury. A year ago, the 49ers lost free-agent acquisition Jerick McKinnon to injury, and the team’s offense felt the running back’s absence in 2018.
Now, No. 1 draft pick Nick Bosa has suffered an injury – but the 49ers hope it isn’t serious.
Bosa, the No. 2 overall selection in the draft, sprained his right ankle during San Francisco’s practice Wednesday. The team reported an MRI of the ankle confirmed it was an ankle sprain,wrote Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
"Expect the team to be cautious with their top pick, meaning you may not see him in the preseason," wrote Rapoport.
That’s a disappointment for 49ers fans, who likely were looking forward to watching Bosa – even for just a few snaps – in the team’s exhibition season opener Saturday at Levi’s Stadium against the Cowboys at 6 p.m.
According to reports, Bosa hurt his ankle during a drill late in team activities Wednesday, and was able to walk off the field.
Bosa has had an outstanding training camp, impressing coaches and teammates with his talent. The 49ers are excited by the prospect of a much better pass rush in 2019 with Bosa at one defensive end and former Chiefs star Dee Ford at the other.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters after Wednesday’s practice that Bosa’s presence is felt by the offense in scrimmages and drills. His loss would be painful. He's been excellent in all phases, said the quarterback.
"He’s made some good plays," said Garoppolo. "He’s just a savvy rookie. To be able to play the run and pass the way he does, it’s impressive."
But, early reports indicate Bosa should be ready to go full-bore in time for the regular-season opener. Fans just may not see him much over the four-game exhibition season.