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Saleh: Tarvarius Moore is ‘one play away now’

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The 49ers third round pick has been a standout on special teams. Now we wait to see when he gets a significant opportunity on defense.

San Francisco 49ers third round pick Tarvarius Moore has spent much of his rookie season playing on special teams. He has been a gunner on punt returns, and generally been a core member of the various special teams units.

The college safety has been working to switch to cornerback, and it has been a relatively slow process. Injuries have gotten him two appearances on defense, with five snaps in Week 3 and 12 snaps in Week 7.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has gotten questions about him, and this week, both Saleh and head coach Kyle Shanahan were asked about Moore’s development. On Wednesday, Shanahan was asked about potentially moving him back to safety in light of Adrian Colbert’s injury.

“I know that he has experience at safety. But, no he’s been doing a good job at corner for us. He’s gotten better each day since going back to when he got here. He’s been helping us out a lot on special teams. He’s been playing at a pretty high level there, just showing his toughness. You’re getting a guy who can hit, but also a guy who can run and has length. We like a lot how he’s coming along at corner. I think it’s a matter of time before he’ll be helping us at that position this year.”

On Thursday, Saleh was asked how close Moore is in his transition from safety to cornerback.

“Yeah, he’s gotten a lot better. His practice habits are fantastic. He’s gotten better every single day. He’s one play away now.”

Richard Sherman will probably play this weekend, but could be a question mark for next Thursday on the short week. Jimmie Ward appears to be getting back from his hamstring injury, and was a full participant on Thursday. If Sherman and Ward both play this Sunday, will we see Ward or Witherspoon starting? If Sherman cannot go next week, how does that impact the starting lineup? Greg Mabin has struggled, and would seem to be on the outs for the time being. But will it be enough to get Moore into more extensive rotation?