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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan ‘pumped’ to watch Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson step up during 49ers-Giants

Sep 27, 2020 at 3:00 PM--

It seemed like the San Francisco 49ers had some serious issues at cornerback entering their Week 3 matchup against the New York Giants. Richard Sherman isn't eligible to return from his calf injury until October 11 against the Miami Dolphins. Then, before the game, the 49ers listed his replacement, Ahkello Witherspoon, as inactive due to a hamstring injury.

That left veteran Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley to start against quarterback Daniel Jones and the Giants. The 49ers won the game 36-9 and departed back-to-back games at MetLife Stadium with a 2-1 record and a two-game win streak.

"I was so happy for Jason Verrett," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. "Jason Verrett is a stud. He's been a great player in this league, and he's been through maybe even more than [Jerick McKinnon] has here in the last couple of years. I was so glad that he came back with our team. He had an opportunity."

Verrett has landed on injured reserve in all but one of his previous six NFL seasons. That includes last season as he was attempting to return from an Achilles injury suffered in 2018.

Verrett looked good in training camp and created some buzz as he competed for the starting job opposite Richard Sherman. That ended, however, when the cornerback suffered a hamstring injury.

"He played great in camp, then had that hamstring the last week, and that really set him back," Shanahan continued. "He got his opportunity today, and he had a great week of practice. It was awesome watching him on those three days. I felt like he was going to do a really good job today, and then he did.

"Just seeing him after the game, and seeing how happy he was, he really earned it. He deserves it, and I'm pumped he's on our team."

Things on the injury front seemed worse when Moseley collided with teammate Jaquiski Tartt in the second quarter. The 49ers later ruled him out with a concussion. That left Dontae Johnson and Verrett to hold down the fort on the outside of the defense.

"That was huge too," Shanahan said of Johnson's play. "Being down a corner, Ahkello getting hurt in individual (drills) last -- I think it was Thursday or Friday, and Jason in his first week back, then losing Moseley there during the game to the concussion early, we were down.

"And for Dontae to come in -- I mean Dontae was here our first year together. He came back last year and helped us. I've got a lot of confidence in him. He's played a lot of football. He's been a number of places, and the game's not too big for him.

"He came in there and did his job, and I also saw him make a few plays. I think I saw him get a big PBU right when he got in. These guys have played a lot of football, and we definitely feel good with them out there."

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