The San Francisco 49ers have fired their head athletic trainer, citing a string of injuries this past season.
According to NBC Sports, Jeff Ferguson, who has held the position of Athletic Trainer for the 49ers since 2006, was let go on Friday. The 49ers also recently fired their head strength and conditioning, Ray Wright.
“Following a thorough evaluation, we have determined that now is the right time for a reboot in the structure and protocols of our health and performance areas,” said general manager John Lynch in the statement. “On behalf of our entire team, Kyle and I would like to thank Ferg and Ray for the dedication and passion they brought to the 49ers organization.
The changes comes after the 49ers saw 17 players spend time on injured reserve in 2018, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
While injuries can’t be blamed on the athletic training department, they are solely responsible for the athlete’s recovery. NBC noted that safety Jaquiski Tartt suffered a shoulder injury, and running back Matt Breida sustained an ankle injury, but neither ever truly recovered.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged the role injuries have played recently. “It's been too big of a deal for two years,” Shanahan said. “Injuries are pretty random, but it's also affected us huge. So, that's something that we definitely have to sit back and really look at it from all angles and put a lot of time into. Just try to find a better perspective at it.”