SANTA CLARA -- When 49ers veteran offensive lineman Adam Snyder went down with a left knee injury during practice with the Baltimore Ravens, it did not look good.
The 49ers had already experienced season-ending knee injuries in training camp to running back Kendall Hunter, offensive lineman Fou Fonoti and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs.
“I was nervous a little bit,” Snyder said on Tuesday.
While the braces did not prevent Fonoti's injury, Snyder could have been spared a much more serious fate on Aug. 10 due to knee braces that are required for all 49ers offensive linemen.
“Coach (Mike) Solari makes it mandatory for us to least during camp,” Snyder said. “On game days, it’s up to us what we want to do.
“But it was no big deal. My knee just jarred. It’s hard to say (how serious it could have been). I got lucky. Any time a pile falls on top of you, it can potentially be a problem. I just got lucky.”
Snyder was required to wear the bulky, hinge braces during his college days at Oregon. He continued to wear them after breaking into the NFL as a third-round pick of the 49ers in 2005. Now, Snyder’s preferred knee protection is similar to compression braces with hard plastic on the outside of the knee for support.
As Snyder competes for a role with the 49ers in his 10th NFL training camp, it's probably no coincidence he has avoided any kind of significant knee injury through this stage of his career.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” Snyder said. “I’ve had minor MCLs and meniscus but, knock on wood, I’ve never had any other issues with my knees.”