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49ers in Five: Now is the time for someone to seize the nickel cornerback job

With the recent injuries at the position, there will be plenty of opportunities

In the NFL, one man’s injury is another man’s opportunity. Now that Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley are both hurt, a ton of snaps are available at the position. In other words, a huge opportunity for someone to stake their claim on the third cornerback spot. That quest begins on Friday against the Packers. DeMeco Ryans said as much on yesterday.

“It’s a great opportunity. When you do have injuries, it sucks when you have guys who are out, when guys miss some time, but it’s also, for guys who are behind them, this is your opportunity. Step up, showcase what you can do, showcase what you can add to our team, what type of value are you adding to our team, so these guys will showcase that. And the depth there at the corner position, a lot of guys competing, a lot of guys battling for spots on our team, so what an opportunity for guys to step up and own it and take it.”

It’s no secret that Ambry Thomas did not have a good training camp. As Kyle Posey has mentioned multiple times, he has either been burned by the receiver or failed to make a play on the balls he is in a position to disrupt. That said, he could go a long way towards repairing some of that damage with a nice game against Green Bay. Kyle Shanahan prefers practices over games but noted this week that he uses the preseason to see who thrives when the lights are on, and the ball is kicked off. That may be Thomas’ saving grace.

Ambry is hardly alone in needing to prove himself, however. The game will be a good opportunity to see if Darqueze Dennard can build off the solid first impression he made on the team last year and to see which rookie cornerback separates himself from the rest of the pack.

The best teams in the NFL don’t have a ton of spots up for grabs in training camp, and the 49ers are a good team. Cornerback was already one of the few areas where things needed to play themselves out, and that’s even more, the case after injuries to Ward and Moseley.