Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch believes Ahkello Witherspoon’s performance vs. Buccaneers was his best with 49ers

Sep 13, 2019 at 9:36 AM--

Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon played one of his best games with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Pro Football Focus. His 80.8 overall grade was the third-best of his career.

Witherspoon hauled in his third career interception and his first-ever pick-six as a pro. It was an impressive outing for the third-year corner who struggled last season.

As he did last year, the Buccaneers' two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, Mike Evans, approached Witherspoon after the game and complimented him on his play.

"He just told me I did a really good job, honestly," Witherspoon said after Sunday's win. "He was asking me — I don't know if I'm supposed to say this — but he was asking me if we knew the offense. I was like 'No, we're just out here playing ball, my man, but thanks for the compliment.'"

Witherspoon's performance also impressed general manager John Lynch, who joined KNBR on Friday morning and discussed the 49ers secondary.

"I thought they played at a high level," Lynch said on the "Murph and Mac" show while first discussing the cornerbacks. "Tough ask; they had good receivers on Tampa. Mike Evans, very good player. (Breshad) Perriman is lighting fast. I thought they did a tremendous job."

Added Lynch: "I thought that was Ahkello's best game as a Forty-Niner. Now, he just needs to repeat that because he has that in him to do that each and every week."

Lynch was also asked about other members of the secondary, including injured defensive back Jimmie Ward, who broke his finger during practice last week. He didn't play on Sunday against the Buccaneers, has practiced this week with a cast on his hand, and his availability against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend remains up in the air.

"We'll see with Jimmie," Lynch said. "He's got a big cast on that finger. He's six, seven days out of surgery. [Playing so soon] has been done; it can be done; it's a difficult ask. I think we still have to wait. He's been running around in practice. No contact, though.

"And so I think our doctors will kind of get with him tomorrow, probably, and see if it's something that, number one, we want to put him out there, number two, if he's comfortable doing that. I think that's kind of TBD here, and see how he does today (in practice), as well."

Ward's injury opened the door for safety Tarvarius Moore to gain more playing time. He finished Sunday's game with eight combined tackles and a pass defensed, which was nearly an interception.

"Tarvarius, he's 4.3 (speed). He was not being caught," Lynch said of the near interception. "It's a shame. Tarvarius has tremendous hands. He probably has the best hands of all the defensive backs. He has receiver hands. It just didn't happen, but I thought he played at a high level."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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