49ers news: Fred Warner will be back vs. Bengals in Week 14

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 49ers will need their defense in Week 14 against a potent Bengals offense, and Fred Warner should be ‘100 percent’ ready to go, per himself.

It’s anyone’s guess whether or not San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner would have made a big enough difference to overturn what was a frustrating 30-23 loss in Week 13 at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.

Perhaps. But with fellow linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair having played so well in that game, Warner’s prowess still might have only made a small impact on what was otherwise a mistake-filled outing on behalf of San Francisco’s offense.

Turns out, Week 13 was Warner’s first NFL game missed in his four-year career because of injury, having suffered a hamstring injury the previous week against the Minnesota Vikings. And while Warner was seen warming up on the field ahead of Week 13, the final conclusion was he needed another week to recover.

“It sucked [not playing],” Warner told reporters on Wednesday (h/t 49ers Webzone). “I think that’s the best way to put it. It was terrible. I pride myself on being available for this team and for the defense, so it sucked being on the sideline, not being able to be out there to help them get the win. But the streak was good while it lasted.”

Warner had previously started every game since being drafted in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

49ers anticipate Fred Warner will return in full vs. Bengals

Now at 6-6, but holding onto the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoff picture, the Niners’ next challenge will be to take to the road and face off against the explosive-yet-inconsistent Cincinnati Bengals, who at 7-5, boast one of the league’s most potent wide receiver corps with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and the likely 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Ja’Marr Chase.

The net result has produced the league’s No. 7 overall offense this season, yet Warner and Al-Shaair should be adequate enough to at least provide some solid coverage depth, albeit not so much against those wideouts, while also guarding against the potency of star running back Joe Mixon, currently churning out an average of 4.3 yards per rush this season.

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While San Francisco has been without fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw for all but two games this season, the duo of Warner and Al-Shaair should inspire enough confidence to account for Greenlaw’s absence.

Warner practiced in full during the 49ers’ Wednesday sessions, not being held back by his hamstring.

And, when asked whether or not he was feeling good enough to go, Warner had a simple response.

“One hundred percent,” Warner added.

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