Luke Walsh‏ @LukeyWalsh “Any word” Question 3,670 – Any word on Jimmy Ward? This new single high safety defence seems very dependent on Ward’s range

ANS: “Any word” questions are waaaay better than “Any chance” questions. The initial thought on Ward was that he’d be back at some point next week. He’s been working with strength coach Ray Wright, including going up and down Mt. Quadburn (Mt. Ray-nier? Mt. Kill-a-man-jaro? Ham-burner Hill?) while his teammates practice. It seems as if George Kittle came back too soon from his own hamstring strain, so the 49ers will be as cautious as possible with Ward.

Os Cruz‏ @ThatOsCruz How many UDFA’s do you see making the 53?

ANS: I would say that Lorenzo Jerome, Matt Breida, Cole Hikutini and Chanceller James all have legitimate shots at making the 53-man roster, in that order. Jerome and Breida have been consistently good since the spring and have not taken their foot off the gas pedal. Hikutini benefitted from Vance McDonald’s absence in the spring (death in the family) and Kittle’s injury in the summer. James seems tailor-made for the strong safety spot.

jeff tarvin‏ @jtizzle42 What is the weakest group on this team? and is there any trades or signings in the near future to help? It’s got to be the db group.

ANS: Well, the preseason games may expose the weaknesses, but I’d say you’re on target. Aside from Eric Reid, the defensive backs lack experience. I also think there would be a significant drop off if either of the starting cornerbacks had to leave the game. Apart from Brandon Fusco, the offensive line is the same as the one that played most of 2016 season together. That group allowed 47 sacks, third most in the league.

Anonymous @Anonymous49er Your draft crush, TNAK CARDARINE is finally starting to live up to expectations. Was it just the scheme, or contract year, or what was it?

ANS: Yes, I think scheme has everything to do with TNAK’s ascent. Strength and effort never have been an issue with him. Definitely not strength. This is the first year he’s played in a 4-3, the system he fits best. Having said that, I have a hard time thinking he will be able to hold off the No. 3 pick in the draft, who plays the same position. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Any defensive lineman who is active on game day promises to be rotated heavily during the contest.

NinerFann‏ @tonyuop If Beathard wins the #2 job, can Barkley stick on the roster as the #3?

ANS: Let’s put it this way: The 49ers are way more apt to keep only two QBs if Beathard wins the No. 2 job. The risk in keeping two is that Brian Hoyer’s injury history is extensive and the 49ers could be left with a practice squadder in Nick Mullens if Beathard were to get hurt, too. That, or sign Colin Kaepernick. (Flag-and-eagle tweets arriving in three … two …)

Raymundo Wilton‏ @RaymundoWilton Plums?

ANS: Has some texture issues, but they’re wonderful for the digestive system. And who turns down fresh fruit, any piece of fresh fruit? #Godscandy

David Cochrane‏ @CochraneCBC Can Chris Culliver play safety? You still haven’t answered this one.

ANS: Grumble, grumble. I wish Twitter had a “pancake block” option.

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