SANTA CLARA, Calif.: The San Francisco 49ers have been so decimated by accidents at cornerback that they’ve been pressured to start out a special duo outdoors in each sport this season.
The one shock has been that essentially the most dependable possibility thus far within the secondary has been Jason Verrett.
While gamers like Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Moseley, Ahkello Witherspoon and Dontae Johnson have been sidelined by accidents, it has been the oft-injured Verrett who has performed essentially the most at cornerback for San Francisco after ending his season on injured reserve in 5 of his first six years within the NFL.
Hes gotten higher each single day, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh mentioned Thursday. Hes obtained such an awesome mindset to him. Theres a cause why he was a (Pro Bowler) in his earlier years earlier than all of the damage luck hit him, however his movie examine, his follow habits, his consideration to element, all of it’s improbable.
Verrett is slated to make his fourth straight begin of the season, a feat he had solely achieved beforehand in 2015-16.
Verretts damage historical past is an extended one since he entered the league as a first-round choose by the Chargers in 2014. He missed eight video games with a torn labrum as a rookie, tore his ACL 4 video games into the 2016 season, went down with a season-ending knee damage within the 2017 opener after which tore his Achilles tendon on the primary day of coaching camp in 2018.
He left the Chargers after that season and signed with the 49ers final season, when he performed simply 4 snaps earlier than occurring season-ending injured reserve with an ankle damage.
Verrett stored getting probabilities as a result of the one 12 months he was wholesome in 2015 he had three interceptions, 12 passes defensed and made the Pro Bowl.
By the time he obtained the beginning for San Francisco in Week 3, he had performed in solely 26 of the 98 video games he was eligible for since coming into the league. Thats one cause his teammates have been so comfortable to see him again on the sector.
Theyve seen what it was like for me on my worst days, Verrett mentioned. Theyve seen me on the sideline whereas they have been on the highway to the Super Bowl. It was undoubtedly bittersweet for me watching that. Happy for them, however bittersweet simply due to the competitor that I’m, at all times desirous to be out on the sector and flying round with these guys.
Even a wholesome Verrett hasnt been sufficient to beat the issues within the secondary that reached a breaking level final week. Sherman, Moseley, Johnson and slot cornerback KWaun Williams have been out and Witherspoon was solely speculated to play in an emergency due to a hamstring damage.
Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick picked on former follow squad participant Brian Allen from the beginning, finishing 5 passes for 124 yards and drawing two penalties earlier than the Niners lastly made a change when Allen was overwhelmed for a landing on the fourth drive.
Witherspoon got here in after that and made it by the sport wholesome. Now San Francisco ought to have Witherspoon, Moseley and Verrett obtainable for Sunday nights sport in opposition to the Rams, whereas Sherman nonetheless tries to work his manner again from injured reserve with a calf damage.
Saleh believes that may assist his protection get again to kind after permitting 43 factors in final weeks loss to the Dolphins.
Every every now and then even the best ones get punched within the mouth, and I nonetheless imagine that it is a prime 10 defensive unit, Saleh mentioned. Top 5 if have been on our stuff and it doesnt change on whos on the soccer discipline. Were a improbable group. Its obtained a improbable mindset and one sport doesnt outline what I feel is an unbelievable defensive unit.
NOTES: S Marcell Harris (ankle) and RB Jeffery Wilson (calf) missed follow with new accidents. … LB Kwon Alexander (ankle) and Johnson (groin) stay sidelined.
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