Report: 49ers' Jimmie Ward out 8 Weeks with Broken Collarbone Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Jimmie Ward #20 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after making a play against the New York Giants during their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on November 12, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward suffered a fractured collarbone Thursday during organized team activities.

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Ward suffered the injury while diving for a ball. He underwent X-rays that determined the extent of the injury. Ward is expected to miss eight weeks but will be ready for training camp, according to Rapoport.

The 49ers signed Ward to a one-year, $4.5 million contract in March. Ward spent his first five NFL seasons in San Francisco but has struggled with injuries. He's played in 16 games only once in his career and was limited to nine games in 2018 after suffering a broken forearm.

"I love Jimmie Ward," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in March, per Matt Maiocco NBC Sports Bay Area. "I really hope to have him back. We all know he's struggled a little bit to stay healthy. But he's a guy, as a person, I'll go to war with every day. I really trust and believe in, and I love him as a player, too."

Ward has split time at safety and cornerback throughout his career, shifting alignments throughout last season. 

Another injury setback is going to make it less likely that Ward finds a starting position in 2019. The 49ers could explore free agency to find a veteran who can fill in at safety, where Ward was taking first-team reps on Tuesday, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt. K'Waun Williams figures to get the majority of the playing time at nickelback like he did last year. 

It's possible that Ward will be back before the beginning of the 2019 regular season, though that will be determined by how his body heals.