Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Verrett discusses the biggest mental hurdle returning from injury, says he’s on track to play in 49ers’ preseason opener

Jul 29, 2019 at 1:13 PM--

Jason Verrett is finally practicing again. It was a year ago when he suffered the Achilles injury that forced him to miss the entire 2018 season. Injuries have riddled his NFL career. He has landed on injured reserve in four of his five NFL seasons.

That one healthy season in 2015, though, resulted in a Pro Bowl selection. That's the player the 49ers hope they signed. That's who they hope shows up on Sundays.

Verrett spoke with reporters on Monday and discussed getting back on the practice field with his new teammates.

"It's something that you miss," Verrett said. "For me, it's been a while since I've had the pads on. Being out there the first day, being able to have it, running around, it's just that good feeling again."

Verrett's injury, by the way, is similar to the one Richard Sherman suffered before joining the 49ers, but with one significant difference. Verrett said he didn't have sutures put in place while repairing the damage. Those sutures caused a lot of pain for Sherman throughout the 2018 season. The veteran finally had them removed in late-February and is feeling like his old self again.

Verrett won't have to deal with that limitation. What he will have to deal with are the mental hurdles involved in his return from injury. Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee asked Verrett what the biggest hurdle has been.

"Just confidence," he responded. "Getting confidence after the injury I dealt with, and being out there in full pads, getting the speed back down. So I'd just say confidence is the biggest thing for me."

Sherman told Verrett that it wasn't until he was a year removed from the injury that he felt 100 percent. That's music to Verrett's ears because that's where he is now.

"My Achilles feels good," he told Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "It's just about the mental reps, along with physically being out there, just gaining that confidence."

Verrett insists he's on track to play in the 49ers' first preseason game, an August 10 matchup at Levi's Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys.

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