The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in a 37-15 victory. However, they lost starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley for the remainder of the season to a torn ACL. Cornerback Jason Verrett will now have a chance for a strong comeback season, who in 2021 suffered the same injury.
The Return Of 49ers CB Jason Verrett
One of the biggest challenges for the 49ers last season was Jason Verrett suffering a torn ACL in Week One. Verrett the year before had a breakout season and looked to be one of the better starting corners in the NFL. The question moving forward with Verrett was always health due to the fact he has a history of numerous injuries throughout his career.
The issue for the 49ers last season was their lack of depth at cornerback. When Verrett went down they just simply didn’t have a steady contingency plan. The Niners were starting guys like Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick who were liabilities in coverage for the 49ers. This was what made the cornerback position such a position of need for the Niners this past off-season. The signing of Charvarius Ward and the draft selection of Samuel Womack showed the level of importance the Niners had in improving the CB room.
The 49ers certainly kept the lack of depth in mind when deciding to re-sign Jason Verrett even after the ACL tear. With Moseley now out for the season, the decision looked to be a good one.
The Niners’ success is heavily based on their defense which is currently the best in the NFL. Unlike last year, however, Verrett allows the Niners to still feel confident in their CB room because if he can be relatively healthy this season, they are replacing a starter with another starter. With Charvarius Ward and Jason Verrett lined up as the outside corners, you could make the case that the pair is still better than last year when Moseley started alongside Josh Norman or guys like Ambry Thomas, who is currently toward the bottom of the depth chart at the position.
The key for Verrett will be health. After just coming off of injured reserve, it is unclear if he will be ready to start this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons on the road. However, Kyle Shanahan made it clear that Verrett will be the starter once he is healthy and ready to play. That is a lot of confidence considering Shanahan has options like Lenoir and Womack who he could let compete for the outside job. Instead, Shanahan made it clear who they are rolling with, even after a serious injury and missing over a year of playing real in-game action.
If Verrett can look at least close to what he was in 2020, it may feel as if the 49ers haven’t missed a beat even in the absence of Moseley. It’s not a knock on Moseley, it’s just another example of how ridiculously deep and talented this roster is. Especially on the defensive side of the ball.
The defense should strengthen even more when Jimmie Ward can avoid the injury bug. The starting free safety returned this past Sunday from his hamstring injury, but sadly broke his hand on the opening kickoff and will now miss more time. In the meantime, Jason Verrett will have to hold it down as best he can this season and do his best to stay on the field.
If Verrett is not available to play this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, hopefully, he is ready and up to speed by the following week when the 49ers have their toughest test of the season against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. When Verrett returns, will he look like the version we last saw who impressed? Only time will tell.