The San Francisco 49ers’ secondary is banged up. No. 1 corner Richard Sherman will miss one more game after injuring his calf in Week 1; Emmanuel Moseley is in the league’s concussion protocol while Ahkello Witherspoon hurt his hamstring in practice last week.
This opened the door for veteran Jason Verrett to get his first game action since he was torched by the Pittsburgh Steelers on a single drive last season. Verrett played exceptionally well against the New York Giants. He gave up nine yards on four targets and finished the game with 3 tackles, a QB hit and broke up a pass.
Pro Football Focus gave the cornerback the fourth-highest grade on the 49ers defense at 75.3. It was a welcome sight for the Niners. Verrett’s career has been injury-plagued, so getting to see the veteran step up had head coach Kyle Shanahan excited after the Giants game.
“I was so happy for Jason Verrett,” Shanahan said. “Jason Verrett is a stud. He’s been a great player in this league, and he’s been through maybe even more than Jet [Jerick McKinnon] has here in the last couple of years. I was so glad that he came back with our team. He had an opportunity.”
The depth of San Francisco’s secondary has been tested early this season. With its top three corners on the shelf, the backups did their part against the G-Men. Shanahan alluded to the team’s strong week of practice and was comfortable with what he saw from Verrett.
“He played great in camp, then had that hamstring the last week, and that really set him back,” Shanahan said. “He got his opportunity (Sunday), and he had a great week of practice. It was awesome watching him on those three days. I felt like he was going to do a really good job, and then he did.
If Moseley can go on Sunday, Verrett should get the start as the second corner, even if Witherspoon is back in the lineup. There is no doubt that Sherman and Moseley are the team’s top two corners, but much like the rest of the 49ers roster, Shanahan should be happy to know that the squad has enough depth behind them.