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49ers sign former Steelers fifth-round pick Brian Allen to the practice squad

After the Sherman and Witherspoon injuries, the Niners needed to add a cornerback. Dontae Johnson was promoted to the active roster as the corresponding move.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

When the San Francisco 49ers worked out four cornerbacks on Monday, we didn’t think anything of it. As it turns out, they likely knew that Richard Sherman was going on the injured reserve with a calf strain, and Ahkello Witherspoon was in the concussion protocol. On Wednesday morning, the 49ers added former Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick in 2017, Brian Allen, to their practice squad. The 6’3”, 215-pound cornerback hasn’t played a down during the regular season.

During the preseason of 2017, Allen allowed seven receptions on 11 targets for 72 yards, including a touchdown. PFF graded him as a 67.2 during the preseason. In 2018, during the preseason, Allen allowed 10 receptions on 15 targets for 147 yards. He gave up an 82-yard touchdown in a game. Allen played in one preseason game during 2019.

I doubt the Niners have any intentions of calling Allen up. Jason Verrett didn’t practice last week. We’ll know more about his status later on Wednesday when Kyle Shanahan speaks to the media. Still, if Verrett can’t play the next few games, then Dontae Johnson is your “emergency” cornerback if Emmanuel Moseley or Ahkello Witherspoon go down.