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49ers DE Nick Bosa says ‘weight off’ shoulders with new extension, feels ‘confident’ vs. Steelers

ByGuillermo Garcia

Sep 9, 2023
49ers DE Nick Bosa says 'weight off' shoulders with new extension, feels 'confident' vs. Steelers

But now the Niners and Bosa, who was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice and fully participated Friday, must turn their attention to ensuring the workload he receives Sunday matches what he’s physically ready for after missing all of training camp.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he expected Bosa to play Week 1 and joked that the reigning AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year only wouldn’t take the field if he showed up with a “beer belly.” Seeing Bosa during the last two practices made it clear that wasn’t the case after a long holdout.

“He looked exactly how we were expecting him to look,” Shanahan said Friday. “Looks in real good shape. Looks ready to go. We got an idea how we’re going to use him and I think he’ll do all right.”

With a quick turnaround for game action, how many snaps will Bosa play against the Steelers?

“It’s hard to say,” defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said Thursday, per the team transcript. “I think each player’s different, and I say that in a meaningful way, he’s different. So it is not really trying to put a limit on what he can do, it’s just trying to get a feel and once we get into the game and then go from there.”

However much Bosa plays, the pass rusher can now shift his focus fully to football after inking a new deal heading into his fifth season.

“I’m definitely thinking it’s going to be a weight off my shoulders,” Bosa said. “And just be able to really not think about all the negative thoughts that come along with playing this game and be free out there and play for one reason — to win games.”