49ers’ Nick Bosa’s body is ready — and so is his Pro Bowl ballot

Nick Bosa's rookie year has slowed in terms of sack totals but the 49ers star is coming off arguably his best game

SANTA CLARA, CA – NOVEMBER 24: San Francisco 49ers’ Nick Bosa (97) is all smiles after a play against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter of their game at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
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SANTA CLARA — Don’t read too much into Nick Bosa’s sack parade slowing to just one in his past six games. The 49ers rookie defensive end is primed for his first playoff run, and on Friday he thanked the gauntlet of top-level left tackles for getting him ready.

“I learned a lot about playing the best of the best, and now what I know the best of the best is, I can start working toward that,” Bosa said.

At last check, Bosa was receiving the most Pro Bowl votes of any NFL defender, and we’ll find out Tuesday if the 49ers rookie defensive end draws his first all-star invitation.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Want to know which offensive tackles got his vote? Bosa revealed his ballot: David Bakhtiari (Green Bay Packers), Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints), Andrew Whitworth (Los Angeles Rams) and Duane Brown (Seattle Seahawks).

Had he been allowed to vote on AFC offensive tackles, Bosa would have acknowledged Baltimore’s Ronnie Stanley. Last Sunday’s 48-46 win at New Orleans may not have been an overall defensive success but it was a valuable learning tool.

“I actually thought I learned a lot from playing against (Armstead),” Bosa said. “We were having hand battles the whole game, and I think it’s really cool when a tackle is a technician.”

Bosa did not record a sack for the fifth time in six games, and although his season total idles at eight sacks, he made key plays last game, such as a third-down tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

“He was unbelievable last game, not all over the stat sheet by any means, but when you’re as good of a player as he is and what he’s put on tape, people are going to make it a very strong point to not allow you to get on the stat sheet,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He’s learning through that.”

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said he’s never seen a rookie draw so much attention with extra blockers, and Shanahan noted that Bosa “has earned it” and is improving at such double teams. Bosa has made 15 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception.


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Bosa overcame an early-game knee “scare” and finished playing a season-high 68 snaps (94 percent). The toll? His body “feels really good” 13 games into the best rookie season anyone is having in the NFL.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

“Now that I don’t have school to worry about, it’s pretty much about keeping my body right all year. I’m feeling really good,” Bosa said.

He credited his weight-lifting routine for part of that, as well as hydrotherapy, adding: “I do a lot of pool stuff, that’s one of my favorite things to do. I come in in the morning and just move around in the pool and that wakes up all my muscles.”

KITTLE TRIBUTE TO CELEK: Tight end George Kittle put aside his light-hearted ways to get serious about Garrett Celek, the 49ers’ eighth-year veteran who went on injured reserve Thursday with a back issue.

“I mean, Garrett Celek is an incredible person. I give him a lot of credit for being the person I’ve become today,” Kittle said. “He definitely showed me how serious the NFL is and you have to grown up, but you can still enjoy it while you’re going along on this hard ride.

“There’s not a single person in this locker room I’m a better friend with than him. It will be a tough one for me. But it’s football and you have to move on. It’ll be nice to still have him around with his leadership and charisma. He’s definitely a glue in this locker room.”

Kittle made the play of Sunday’s win at New Orleans on a fourth-and-2 conversion that featured a 39-yard catch-and-run plus a 14-yard facemask penalty.

“Definitely that’s a game that drains a lot of energy from you in all facets, so coach Shanahan did a great job this week,” Kittle said. “We had a walk-through on Wednesday, a light tempo, so we weren’t hitting and grinding too hard.

“We were trying to let guys get their bodies back, because we definitely have seven more games left.”

Perhaps only six if they win these remaining three in the regular season to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs.

INJURY REPORT: Defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring), cornerback Richards Sherman (hamstring), strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs), defensive tackle Jullian Taylor (elbow) and nickel back K’Waun Williams (concussion) were ruled out after none practiced this week.

Nose tackle D.J. Jones (ankle) is also out and will go on injured reserve Saturday. Defensive tackle Kentavius Street is expected to come off injured reserve and make his NFL debut.

Coach Kyle Shanahan did not confirm a NFL Network report earlier Friday claiming that Sherman is out through the final three games of the regular season. Said Shanahan: “I hope it’s week to week. That’s news to me.”

Ford’s status remains up in the air after aggravating a hamstring last game. NFL Network reported that Ford is our four weeks, and Shanahan acknowledged it’s a possibility because of hamstring-injury timelines. “Four weeks? We are day to day right now,” Ford responded. “We don’t want it to be a recurring thing. Hamstricks are tricky, and with all the big games coming up, I’m wanting to come back.”

— For Friday’s practice, the 49ers pulled out their 1984 team’s single “We’re the 49ers,” to which several players danced while some wondered what era this vintage chorus of players came from. That 1984 team won the team’s second Lombardi Trophy and went 18-1. Their third-to-last game that regular season: a 35-17 win over the Falcons.

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