Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

49ers have full confidence in Ahkello Witherspoon, says Robert Saleh

Dec 26, 2019 at 2:44 PM--

After a strong start to the season and some good weeks after returning from injury, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has seen his Pro Football Focus grades plummet over the past two games.

"Ahkello's done some good things," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Sunday. "I think he'll play better next week, but I saw him this morning, he wasn't happy with how he played. He knows he could play better. I feel very confident with him recognizing that even before we watched the tape. I know he'll come out firing next week and be ready to redeem himself."

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh stepped up to the podium on Thursday and was asked if there is any decision between starting Witherspoon or Emmanuel Moseley during Sunday night's NFC West showdown against the Seattle Seahawks.

Saleh's words echoed those by Shanahan.

"We've got full confidence in Ahkello," Saleh responded. "I know he's not happy with the way he played. I know we're not overly excited about it, but before he got hurt, he still played at a very, very high level, and there's some things that he can clean up, and he knows he can clean up.

"I've got faith that he's going to come out and play a really good game."

Witherspoon is in his third NFL season after the 49ers made him a third-round draft pick out of Colorado in 2017. He has 23 tackles, seven passes defensed, an interception, and a touchdown through nine games and seven starts this season.

Witherspoon earned two games with Pro Football Focus grades above 70.0 to start the season before being injured during Week 3. Since returning in Week 11, he has just one — Week 13's loss to the Baltimore Ravens when he earned a grade of 74.0.

Against the Atlanta Falcons and this past weekend against the Los Angeles Rams, Witherspoon earned grades of 40.1 and 47.7, respectively.

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