Jason Verrett has his sights set on returning to his Pro Bowl form. After earning a trip to the NFL's annual all-star game following the 2015 season, he endured three straight seasons that saw the talented but unlucky cornerback land on injured reserve.

Verrett has suffered season-ending injuries during four of his five years in the NFL. His 2014 rookie season was cut short by tears to his labrum and rotator cuff. Verrett suffered a torn ACL two years later. It was a knee injury in 2017 and a torn Achilles tendon in 2018.

It was that latest injury which hit Verrett hard. He even contemplated retirement.

"When it happened, I definitely had thoughts in my mind of retiring, for sure," Verrett recently told SiriusXM Radio, "just because I worked so hard coming back from the devastating knee injury that I experienced, got back to full strength, was out there in OTAs, and trained well to get ready for training camp and that season.

"It was just a freak situation that happened. It definitely was devastating, was hard to deal with. I was in a dark place for a few months, just from rehabbing and sitting on the couch and stuff like that. But I definitely did contemplate giving up on it."

Verrett didn't give up and now has yet another chance to turn his fortunes around. This time with the 49ers where he will compete for the starting cornerback job across from veteran Richard Sherman.

"It's been a tough journey," Verrett said. "I ain't going to lie to you. It's been tough, some long nights for me. Smile-now-cry-later type of thing for me. But just knowing what it is that I'm capable of doing, the love I've got for the game, I just couldn't give up on it. I'm just excited the 49ers gave me a chance."

Verrett was impressed with the 49ers training staff during his visit with the team in March. It was one of the deciding factors in him signing a one-year prove-it deal with San Francisco. The team suffered through a high number of injuries last season and the training and medical staffs were reorganized into a single Health and Performance staff.

Verrett feels he is making good progress in his rehab, thanks in part to the care and direction he is receiving from the 49ers.

"My Achilles is doing good," Verrett said. "I like where they have me right now progressing. For sure I'll be ready for the season. I'd probably say my turning point was probably around like six, seven months. I could kind of start really feeling the strength getting back into my calf. But it's a day-to-day thing that's ongoing, and I like the plan that they got for me."



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