San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford revealed Friday that he underwent “extensive” surgery on his left knee after Super Bowl LIV.
Ford told reporters in a video conference call that he had the procedure done a couple of weeks after the Feb. 2 championship game. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Pensacola, Fla., and Ford has been rehabbing in Alabama since.
Ford, who has been plagued by knee tendinitis as far back as last year’s training camp, knew he would require surgery following the 2019-20 season.
“We were spot on with the injury as far as diagnosing it in training camp,” Ford said. “I had a severe case of tendinitis. … With my position, that’s a blown tire. I feel great right now. I’m able to actually explode off of this knee. Thinking back on it, I can’t believe I played a whole season on it, and we knew at the end of the day what we had to do.
“It had to be surgical, but I didn’t want to miss the season. We had too much going on. I didn’t want to miss that. It’s in the bag now, though, I’m confident in that.”
Ford noted that because the tendinitis has been a chronic problem, it’s difficult to determine when or if the issue will return. The pass rusher has been unable to test the knee in football drills because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the NFL off-season to take place virtually.
“Anytime you are dealing with a chronic issue, you are always on the clock,” Ford said. “So if I’m able to play, I’m going to play. As of right now, I’m just getting as healthy as I can. … I know exactly what I felt like last year, [and] doing the things I’m doing now, it’s like night and day. We’ll just play it by ear once everything gets going.
“We haven’t really had an off-season, no one has really been in competition, so it’s just really hard to measure where you’re at. So we are going to take it one day at a time and just keep getting this thing as strong as we can possibly get it so we can sack some quarterbacks.”
Ford, who was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the 49ers in March 2019, recorded 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 regular-season games last year. He added one sack in three postseason games.