He might have been banged up earlier in the season, dealing with a broken finger, which has limited him to just five games.
But veteran defensive back Jimmie Ward has taken the relief off any concerns about one of the more important positions in coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense, the free safety spot. Ideally, the Niners would have seen second-year defensive back Tarvarius Moore assume the starting role. Moore has struggled, though, which opened the door for Ward to reassume the starting job.
And Ward hasn’t disappointed.
Ward has allowed only three catches on seven targets this season for a measly 40 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Considering San Francisco’s secondary was supposed to be a prime liability this season, Ward’s presence has erased these concerns altogether.
During that stretch, Ward has finished with 20 tackles, ranking eighth on the defense despite playing in only five games, with a solid three passes broken up, too.
Considering Ward has mostly gone unheralded this season, it’s time to recognize how he’s contributed nicely to the 49ers’ top-tier defense over the course of 2019.