Tight end Chase Ford was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Monday. He participated in his first practice since minicamp after missing all of training camp and three preseason games with a broken left foot.

“It feels real good to be back,” Ford said.

It was Zimmer’s first chance to see Ford in pads. Zimmer said Ford has been cleared to do everything based on the rehab reports he’s received.

“We’ll have to see what kind of condition he is in, his recall for the plays,” Zimmer said. “He’s been out here and watching but that doesn’t mean that he knows the plays and being able to execute them and what kind of blocking he does. These next 13 days will be important for him.”

While Ford returned, there were 11 players either sidelined with an injury or absent from practice. Wide receiver Rodney Smith, offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle), defensive tackle Fred Evans, nose tackle Linval Joseph (leg), linebacker Gerald Hodges (knee), cornerback Jabari Price and safety Jamarca Sanford (quad) did not participate but were at practice.

Joseph, Hodges and Price all worked on conditioning during the start of practice. While the injury is unknown, Smith landed awkwardly on his neck recovering an onside kick late in Saturday’s game against the Chiefs.

Linebacker Anthony Barr, safety Chris Crocker and linebackers Michael Mauti and Brandon Watts were not on the practice field.