49ers face questions at safety ahead of season opener

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The 49ers are still deciding who’s going to play free safety in the season opener against the Panthers.

Expected starter Jimmie Ward’s status remains up in the air while he’s been a limited participant in practice this week after suffering a hamstring injury July 27 that prevented him from playing in the preseason.

If Ward can’t go Sunday, San Francisco will turn to undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome or third-year veteran Jaquiski Tartt, who mostly played strong safety during his first two seasons. Both received time working in Ward’s spot throughout training camp and the exhibition slate.

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