San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Monday.
Warner is the third member of the 49ers to go on the list, which is for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has had it. Teams are not allowed to disclose whether the player tested positive.
The Niners had gone most of camp without any additions to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Receiver Richie James and running back Jeff Wilson went on it July 27 and July 30, respectively. Both were removed from the list Aug. 4.
Before the past couple of days, the number of players around the league on the reserve/COVID-19 list had been steadily dropping. At one point in the past week, there was just one player on the list. That number stood at five as of Monday morning: Warner, New Orleans Saints running back Dwayne Washington, Carolina Panthers defensive back Derrek Thomas, Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Steven Means and Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Ryan Pope.
“I think it’s just a good reminder that no one is out of the woods,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “When you go a few weeks with nothing happening, you start to feel pretty safe, and it’s a reminder that this stuff is out there.”
Warner did not practice Sunday, after which defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said there was no concern about an injury to Warner, linebacker Dre Greenlaw or defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, all of whom did not participate in the session. Greenlaw did not practice again Monday as he is in the concussion protocol, Shanahan said. Kinlaw did return to practice.
Warner is considered one of San Francisco’s best players after a breakthrough 2019 season in which he posted 118 tackles, three sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles. NFL players voted Warner the 70th-best player in the league going into this season.
“Fred gets better each year,” Shanahan said. “Fred is as much of a pro as I’ve been around. While he’s not in here, I’m sure he’s in his apartment doing bag drills or wherever he’s living, just going crazy that he can’t be in here. … Whenever he can come back, he will be ready to go.”