From preseason to postseason last year, Dee Ford felt his play as a San Francisco 49ers defensive end was severely hampered. On a recent video press conference, he discussed his knee issues as well as a recent procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews.

“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.”

On top of the knee tendinitis, he also dealt with a hamstring issue. Ahead of the season finale, with the No. 1 seed in the NFC on the line, he recalled wanting to play but being held out with the hopes of playing in the postseason.

“It was so tough,” Ford said. “When the stage is that big and the stakes are that high, big-time players come out in those type of games, and the fact that I was missing those opportunities, it definitely hurt.

“But we sat down as a training staff … and we were all on the same page with, ‘We’ve got one shot to do this right, because we are definitely going to be in the postseason.’ I had to forget about how I felt and just move forward. It was tough, but it was just what we had to do so I could be available for the Vikings [in the divisional playoffs] and the Super Bowl and all that.”

The coronavirus pandemic has gotten in the way of planned offseason activities, but Ford is confident he’ll be back at full speed once he’s on the field again.

“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 that 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 offseason, 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.”