49ers’ Nick Bosa undecided on Covid vaccine, on track to play in season opener after ACL tear

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49ers’ Nick Bosa undecided on Covid vaccine, on track to play in season opener after ACL tear

SANTA CLARA — Defensive end Nick Bosa fully expects to play in the Sept. 12 opener at Detroit, and, for now, he remains practicing on the side at training camp in his recovery from last season’s knee injury.

One obstacle that could interfere with his comeback: COVID.

Bosa is among the few 49ers not fully vaccinated, as evident by the protective mask he wore Thursday to his first press conference since last season.

“I’m just evaluating everything right now,” Bosa said. “I haven’t made a decision quite yet. But I’m following the protocols and will see where it goes.”

The 49ers opened camp Tuesday with general manager John Lynch noting over 90 percent of the players were vaccinated. Four offensive players wore masks warming up for Wednesday’s first practice, and cornerback Jason Verrett wore a mask in his Thursday media session while saying he’s working through things.

Bosa noted during one lengthy answer how “it’s tough with this mask on,” but that is among the regulations imposed by the NFL, including others that restrict unvaccinated players around the team facility and away from that, as well as daily testing for COVID.

SANTA CLARA, CA – JULY 29: San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa (97) takes part in a drill during practice on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Santa Clara, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

Bosa reported to camp looking on track in his ACL comeback, which are never a sure thing, even though Bosa noted he’s “definitely experienced, unfortunately” by having torn the ACL in his right knee his senior year of high school.

When this season’s schedule came out a couple months ago, Bosa had his target date for a return.

“I knew when it was an early injury (last September), I, for the most part, would be ready to go for Week 1 and everything now is trending toward that,” Bosa said. “I’m hoping to ramp it up toward that and give it all I’ve got Week 1.

“Right now, I’m feeling very close.”

He looks very close. Through two practices in camp, he’s shown no hindrance with his leg, and, rather, he springs up after drills as if to further test it or show off his progress. He participates in position drills with blocking sleds and pseudo pass rush, then does more of the same on a side field with fellow linemen Dee Ford (back) and Javon Kinlaw (knee).

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