With Jimmie Ward questionable for the 49ers’ Week 1 matchup vs. the Bears, San Francisco made a move to reinforce its defense with a face that knows the Chicago offense quite well.
On Thursday, the 49ers worked out safety Tashaun Gipson according to Field Yates of ESPN. Gipson played the previous two seasons with the Bears on one-year deals, but was not re-signed this offseason.
And on Monday, the team signed Gipson, per Adam Schefter.
Gipson, 32, is a 10-year veteran who had his best season in 2014, when he grabbed six interceptions and made the Pro Bowl as a member of the Cleveland Browns. Gipson spent his first four seasons with the Browns from 2012-2015 and then bounced around a bit before landing with the Bears.
He impressed enough in his first season in Chicago to earn another one-year deal last offseason, but was ranked as the eighth worst safety in football (85 out of 92) last year according to Pro Football Focus. Gipson has 27 career interceptions.
After letting Jaquiski Tartt walk in free agency, the 49ers are somewhat thin at safety. George Odum, whose strength is special teams, is the likely fill in with Ward out. At the strong safety position, Talanoa Hufanga, who had an uneven rookie season, is the presumed starter.