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The 49ers lost defensive end Nick Bosa in Week Two of the 2020 season with a torn ACL. They still hope to have him back for Week One.

“I believe so,” coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Sunday when asked whether Bosa is on track to play at the start of the 2021 regular season. “That’s been the plan all along. There’s been no setbacks. He’s doing great right now.”

It’s an important year for the 49ers and Bosa. The team isn’t the same when he’s not on the field, playing at his best. And as he enters the third year of his career, Bosa needs to re-establish himself in order to set the stage for a 2022 contract that will rival the $27 million per year market-setting deal that his brother Joey got from the Chargers after three NFL seasons.

Injuries dramatically impacted the 49ers’ ability to compete at a high level in 2020. They’ll need to keep most key players healthy to have a chance in an NFC West that actually seems better than it was a year ago.