When San Francisco 49ers starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon went down with a foot sprain during Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was expected to miss at least a month. The 49ers were 3-0 at the time, and fans pushed for the team to make a trade for a Witherspoon fill-in to keep things rolling.

The 49ers opted to stick with what they had.

That was second-year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who has impressed while filling in for Witherspoon. It was another example of the team's improved depth (starting tackle Joe Staley went down the week before).

Moseley has been playing so well that the coaching staff can be patient with Witherspoon's recovery. Not that they wouldn't have been otherwise. It just means fewer sleepless nights. But what happens if Moseley continues to shine until Witherspoon's return? Is there a possibility that Witherspoon isn't handed back his starting job?

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was asked that question on Thursday by Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.

"We haven't crossed that one yet," Saleh responded. "Ahkello had been playing so, so well. You know, it's a messed up question, but you never have a philosophy that an injury will put you on the bench. Ahkello, he's been working to get healthy, and when he's ready to go, he's going to be ready to go."

As far as Moseley's play since taking over for Witherspoon, Saleh discussed that, as well.

"The young man is fearless," Saleh told reporters. "He'll go tackle. He'll compete. The game's not too big for him. He understands the defense. He knows what's coming. He knows the techniques to play. He's got a fearless mindset. He's got a short memory. Eventually, he's going to get tested again, and he'll always come right back. For him, he's doing exactly what we all thought he'd do."