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The only real injury question the 49ers had coming into their first-ever playoff game at Levi’s Stadium was the availability of Dee Ford, after the team activated linebacker Kwon Alexander (placing Kentavius Street on injured reserve) on Friday and Jaquiski Tartt practice in full this week. Ford, while initially expected to play, seemed to be less and less assured of a return as this week rolled on despite his activity in the 49ers’ Wednesday and Thursday practices.
That lack of certainty was in part due to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s statement on Friday that Ford’s re-aggravation of his hamstring injury against the Baltimore Ravens could possibly have been avoided.
Ford felt tightness before the game but did not tell the coaching or training staff, and Shanahan said the 49ers were being more cautious with him this time around. That revelation could simultaneously be a misdirection, intended to keep his status in question until the last possible moment.
But that question seems to be answered, as Ford is expected to play against the Minnesota VIkings, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) January 11, 2020
His role is likely to be limited to around a 20-snap load, mostly on third down and obvious passing situations based on the way Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke about him and given the pattern of how the 49ers have used him this season.