Three weeks ago, things were looking bleak for Corey Lemonier (Lemon-Yay) and the San Fransisco 49ers. The sky wasn't falling just yet, but Chicken Little was definitely itching to tweet the Queen (am I the only one that thinks that sounds off?). A week two blowout loss to their rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, was somewhat not unexpected. After all, the 49ers were playing against a trendy Super Bowl pick in arguably the toughest NFL stadium to play in. It was also the same place they had fallen 42-13 only two regular season games before.
What happened in week 3, however, was a bit more eyebrow-raising. Playing at home against a talented but young team in the Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers, a trendy Super Bowl pick themselves, were expected to handle their business before moving on to a week 3 tilt against the Rams in St. Louis. Nobody told the Colts (or the 49ers), however, and San Francisco played mostly uninspiring football in extending their blowout losing streak to two. Perhaps contributing to the distracted nature of their play was the fact that their all-world pass rusher, Aldon Smith, had been arrested just days before and his status with the team for the rest of the season was more than a little cloudy.
With injuries mounting on the defensive front and a tough road game against the Rams, the 49ers tabbed backups Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier, a rookie 3rd round draft choice out of Auburn, to help fill the hole left by Smith's departure. One that was described by the team as being "indefinite". Lemonier was thought by some scouts to possess first round talent but had dropped to the 88th pick due to a lackluster senior season. His role presumably was try to provide some much-needed pass rush on the third and distance downs that were his benefactor's forte. Lemonier played well against the Rams, working with his teammates to consistently collapse the pocket. Though he did not have a sack, he was credited with 3 tackles, a blocked pass and had several pressures while mostly looking like a veteran.
For the season, Lemonier has totaled 9 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two passes defensed in limited duty and seems to be only gaining confidence. Recently, Adam Schefter tweeted the folowing:
With Aldon Smith in rehab and facing felony charges of possession of assault weapons, 49ers are not counting on him returning this year.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 13, 2013
If that's true, then the 49ers have certainly been given lemons. When life gives you lemons, though, the 49ers answer might just be to play Lemonier.