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Lorenzo Jerome gets first team free safety Monday, Saleh says don’t read too much into it

Can Jerome claim a significant role sooner rather than later?

The San Francisco 49ers returned to practice on Monday, and free safety Lorenzo Jerome remains atop the depth chart for the time being. He started at free safety, and managed to get another practice interception. Jimmie Ward had a promising workout on Sunday, according to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, but he remains on the PUP list. Jaquiski Tartt is back from a rib injury, and was taking second team snaps.

Saleh pumped the brakes, saying that we should not read too much into it. He talked about Tartt coming off a long layoff from the injury. That would suggest he has a chance to re-claim the job, which makes this week particularly critical for Jerome.

Saleh praised the rookie safety as being instinctive, and doing a good job progressing as a rookie. Jerome did not get an interception in his team-high 33 defensive snaps, but he had three tackles and a bit hot on wide receiver Chris Conley. This week, the 49ers face the Denver Broncos in two joint practices before their Saturday preseason contest. Saleh talked about the importance of focusing on their own technique, but likes the idea of seeing his guys facing some new opponents in practice. It’s a huge chance for Jerome.