SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Nick Bosa said he doesn't have any celebration planned ahead of this meeting against Baker Mayfield.
The San Francisco 49ers star edge rusher mimicked waving and planting a flag on the field after earning an intentional grounding call against Mayfield three years ago. That came in response to Mayfield planting an Oklahoma flag on the Ohio State logo following a win over Bosa and the Buckeyes following a 2017 win.
Now the two are set to meet again on Sunday when Bosa's 49ers (2-2) travel to Carolina to take on Mayfield and the Panthers (1-3).
Bosa said he has nothing planned for the rematch and that he hasn't heard from Mayfield since that Niners win over Cleveland in 2019.
“I don't think we've ever been in touch,” he said Wednesday.
The way Bosa has played early this season Mayfield figures to see plenty of him on Sunday in the backfield.
Bosa is one of three players in the league with at least one sack in every game this season and he leads the NFL with six overall.
He's coming off one of his dominant performances yet, getting two sacks and a staggering 14 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, during a 24-9 victory Monday night over the Los Angeles Rams.
“He's an all-around player,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He never takes a down off.”
The Niners were counting on a big year from Bosa, who returned from a season-ending knee injury in 2020 to get 15 1/2 sacks in the regular season and four more in the playoffs in 2021.
With a full offseason to train and work on his skills instead of rehabilitating his knee, Bosa is looking even better so far this year.
His 30 quarterback pressures are eight more than any other player, according to PFF, and his six sacks are tied with Bryant Young (2005) and Tim Harris (1992) for the most through four games in franchise history.
Becoming the first Niners player to reach the 20-sack mark in a season and the first in franchise history to lead the NFL in sacks are all legitimate possibilities.
“I just want to affect the game as much as I can,” he said. “Pressures and sacks and all that stuff definitely helps. So long as I can do that a lot, I think that gives our defense a chance to be the best.”
One of the only things that could hold Bosa back would be offensive linemen holding him. The Niners have long complained that teams cross the line when trying to block Bosa.
Bosa even complained to the official on Monday night, saying he was being tackled on one play. But in all, he said he has no major complaints.
“Refs haven’t been too bad this year so far,” he said.
NOTES: The Niners opened the practice windows for S Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and CB Jason Verrett (knee). Both could return this week. ... Several players missed practice including DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), DT Arik Armstead (foot), LT Trent Williams (ankle), OL Colton McKivitiz (knee), RB Ty Davis-Price (ankle), TE Tyler Kroft (knee) and S Tarvarius Moore (hamstring). ... WR Willie Snead IV was signed back to the practice squad a day after being released from the active roster.
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