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The San Francisco 49ers fell 23-17 to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3 of the 2018 preseason. But cornerback Richard Sherman ended up making his Niners on-field debut and looked solid in doing so. How did the three-time first-team All-Pro see his own efforts?


Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman made his San Francisco 49ers preseason debut Saturday, as the Niners fell to the Indianapolis Colts 23-17 in both teams' dress rehearsal for the 2018 regular season.

Sherman, who missed San Francisco's first two exhibition bouts with a hamstring issue, took the field with the starters and was targeted just once during the contest. He broke up the 1st-and-10 pass from Colts quarterback Andrew Luck intended for wide receiver Ryan Grant.

On top of the pass breakup, Sherman also recorded a tackle on the contest.

While the 49ers defense managed to hold the Colts to just 349 all-purpose yards during the game, there were still plenty of miscues and mistakes on both sides of the ball.

"Teams are very conservative in their play calling," Sherman told reporters following the game. "Everybody is trying not to show anything. But it's basic fundamentals. It's one of those things where you should show incredible knowledge of the fundamentals of your defense and recognizing the offense and what they have to offer."

Sherman and most of San Francisco's starters played into the early portions of the third quarter -- the longest either side of the ball had seen this preseason, which is common for the third preseason game. And during that stretch, the Niners defense managed to hold the Colts to a mere seven points. Although there were more than a few miscues and mistakes, including a botched coverage between linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Jaquiski Tartt that led to Indy's first touchdown.

While that's an area needing some attention, one of the bigger concerns for the 49ers is seeing if Sherman is fully healthy from his hamstring and 2017 Achilles injury.

"There were some good plays," Sherman continued. "Some other plays I felt rusty on. But overall, I felt pretty good. Better than expected. ... For the most part, I thought I covered pretty well. We played a lot of three deep, we played a lot of man."

Luck, who missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury, greeted Sherman on the field before the game. Both have the collegiate connection from Stanford, and Luck is still looking to shake the rust off from missing over a year of football.

"He's still working his way back in," Sherman said of Luck. "I knew he'd be pretty conservative with his throwing. But he looked really good out there as well."

In addition to Sherman's return, the 49ers also got back nickel corner K'Waun Williams, who missed his first two preseason games with an ankle injury. And like Sherman, Williams also had a key pass breakup in the first half.

San Francisco's fourth and final preseason bout takes place Thursday, Aug. 30 at Levi's Stadium against the Los Angeles Chargers, who host the New Orleans Saints for their third preseason bout.