Earlier today, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver suffered an injury to his left knee during some special teams work. We do not know the severity, and it may take some time for that information to leak out. The media will meet with Jim Harbaugh in just a bit, and while they will ask about the injury, I doubt they will get much detail. We do not know the extent of the injury, but the investigative process will likely include an MRI and possibly an X-ray.
We do not know what kind of timeline is involved, but we do have some information on how the 49ers cornerback depth chart was re-shuffled for practice today.
Although Nnamdi Asomugha would seem to be the guy to slide in opposite Tarell Brown in the nickel, as PFF's Jeff Deeney pointed out, Brown and Nnamdi have both played primarily at right cornerback during their careers. That being said, Jeff offered this nugget (which Ryanco sort of mentioned briefly in the comments of the last post):
Tarell Brown did play quite a few snaps at LCB in 2009-10. Not counting snaps in slot or at safety, in 2008-12 Nnamdi 91.8% RCB, 8.2% LCB.— Jeff Deeney (@PFF_Jeff) August 1, 2013
I have to think the 49ers will give Brown or Nnamdi a chance at some playing time on the left side. This tweet would seem to infer Brown is the more likely corner to move over. This is also speaking specifically to the nickel look, since Rogers has played opposite Brown in the team's base defense. However, the 49ers play a lot of nickel, so this is obviously something to concern ourselves with.
One guy who I want to track when next week's preseason opener gets here is Marcus Cooper. He seems pretty far down the depth chart, but strong performances could mix that up real quick. Even with Culliver's injury Cooper seems to have some hurdles to overcome. But he is a guy that should be on our radar.
Even if Culliver's injury ends up being a basic sprained knee, odds would seem long that he will play in next Thursday's preseason opener. If he is unable to play, we'll get a pretty clear idea of what the team is thinking. One common mention on Twitter has been that Eric Wright could be expecting a call shortly. I imagine the 49ers will consider all their options, but if they are happy with Nnamdi, and think Tarell Brown can move over to the left side, I don't know if they will make the move for Wright. That would of course also be impacted by their thoughts on Perrish Cox at this point. Cox is the primary backup to Carlos Rogers in the slot, and Wright would be a guy who would compete at that area. I do not expect them to bring in Wright, but depending on the extent of Culliver's injury, anything could be on the table.
They might want to add another corner just in case of something happening down the road,