SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Four days before the regular-season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers welcomed linebacker Fred Warner back after a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Niners announced Wednesday morning that they activated Warner from the list after placing him on it on Aug. 31. The team had expected Warner back this week, leaving the 53rd spot on the roster open for him when the 49ers made their cuts to the initial team on Saturday.
Still, coach Kyle Shanahan was relieved to get Warner back from the COVID-19 list and into practice, where he participated without restriction.
"Fred is back, he's good to go," Shanahan said. "I can't talk about it too much of his week away but Fred has been as reliable of a player as we've had. It's great to get him back today. We were obviously pretty nervous about that. But he's good to go and we're very grateful he's gonna be here."
Warner was the third 49er to go on the COVID 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.
"I think it's just a good reminder that no one is out of the woods," Shanahan said at the time Warner went on the list. "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."
Getting Warner back in time for the opener is an important development for a team that leans on him to run the defense. Warner was voted the league's 70th-best player by NFL peers in the offseason after a breakthrough season in which he finished with 118 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception.