San Francisco 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward, who has been preparing to play safety this offseason, was injured during Thursday's practice while diving for the football, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Rapoport later reported that Ward suffered a fractured collarbone.



NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Ward should be healed near the start of training camp in late-July.

The 49ers didn't upgrade the free safety position this offseason, instead opting to re-sign Ward to a one-year, $4.5 million deal. The defensive back's ability to stay healthy has been a concern throughout his career. Ward has ended each of his last three seasons on injured reserve.

"I just play physical. I don't know any other way," Ward told the Sacramento Bee in November.

Update: The 49ers confirmed the injury to NBC Sports Bay Area. The standard recovery time for a fractured collarbone is eight to 12 weeks. Although, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that team sources tell him Ward will be out eight weeks. Training camp begins in nine weeks.

News of this injury comes after the 49ers announced that rookie defensive end Nick Bosa will miss the next few weeks with a low-grade hamstring strain. He too is unlikely to practice again until training camp.

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The 49ers made Ward, who played college football at Northern Illinois, the No. 30 overall selection in 2014. He registered 24 combined tackles and a forced fumble through nine games and seven starts with the 49ers in 2018. Ward has recorded 186 combined tackles, two sacks, 21 passes defensed, two interceptions, a touchdown, and two forced fumbles through his five NFL seasons.

Four of Ward's five NFL seasons have ended on injured reserve. He suffered a fractured foot during his 2014 rookie year, a fractured clavicle in 2016, and a broken forearm in each of the past two seasons.

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