Tony Jefferson‘s season is over. On Thursday, the 49ers placed the veteran safety on injured reserve due to groin and hamstring issues.
Jefferson hasn’t played since 2019, when he tore his ACL. Then, the pandemic slowed his rehab, keeping him off the field throughout 2020. Under normal circumstances, Jefferson would have been mostly healed by April.
“I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said in April. “Now, I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”
After spending the early part of his career with the Cardinals, Jefferson inked a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started in all 35 of his games for Baltimore from 2017-2019, but the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t fond of his five-game 2019 season. The Ravens released Jefferson in February of 2020, but he wasn’t healthy enough to land a deal until this summer when the Niners added him on a one-year pact.
Jefferson was gearing up to support free safety Jimmie Ward and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt. Instead, he’ll have to rest, recover, and maybe even consider life beyond football. His snaps will be absorbed by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who agreed to terms on Wednesday.
To take his place on the roster, the 49ers have signed defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. The 26-year-old (27 in October) is hoping to see his first live action since 2019, when he appeared in three games for the Texans.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.