49ers News: Dee Ford 'Feels Great' After Surgery on Knee Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2020

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (55) is seen against the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl 54 on Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Chiefs won the game 31-20. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford said Friday that he feels great after undergoing knee surgery recently.

According to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, Ford referred to the procedure as a "pretty extensive cleanup."

Last season was Ford's first in San Francisco after the Niners acquired him from the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round draft pick. Injuries limited him to just 11 regular-season games and he made only two starts, but he still finished with 6.5 sacks, which was good for fourth on the team.

The 29-year-old Ford, who was a first-round pick by the Chiefs out of Auburn in 2014, truly came into his own in 2016 when he recorded 10 sacks. Ford then set a career high two years later with 13 sacks and led the NFL that year with seven forced fumbles as well.

Ford was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2018, so his stock was at an all-time high entering last season. He was nowhere near as effective last season, but knee, quad and hamstring injuries contributed to that.

Also, Ford took a backseat at times to some of the Niners' other linemen because of their remarkable depth. He was essentially a situational pass-rusher since Arik Armstead and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa were the regular starters at defensive end.

Ford did bring a needed dimension to the San Francisco defense, though, and he appeared in all three of the 49ers' playoff games en route to a Super Bowl loss to Kansas City.

Provided he is healthy, Ford should have an even bigger role in 2020. He will still have to contend with Armstead and Bosa for playing time, but the Niners lost one of their top pass-rushers in defensive tackle DeForest Buckner when they traded him to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.

The 49ers selected defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft to replace Buckner, but it will likely take some time before he comes close to Buckner's level of production.

Since the Niners will need to replace some of the pass-rushing ability that Buckner brought to the table, look for them to find more ways to incorporate Ford into the defensive scheme next season.

Also, with Ford signed through the 2023 season after inking a five-year, $85.5 million extension last year, the 49ers have every reason to get the most out of him.