Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, other 49ers players react to Jason Verrett’s potentially season-ending injury

Sep 12, 2021 at 3:27 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers fear the worst but are praying for the best when it comes to starting cornerback Jason Verrett. The defender went down late during Sunday's 41-33 victory against the Detroit Lions, and head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed after the game that the team fears he suffered a torn ACL.

That would land Verrett on injured reserve for the sixth time in his eight NFL seasons. The cornerback admitted that he considered retirement after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in 2018 and was glad to get another chance with the 49ers.

Now, he may be facing yet another difficult journey after staying relatively healthy last season and proving himself to be one of San Francisco's better defenders.

Star linebacker Fred Warner said it was really difficult to see Verrett go down at Ford Field.

"That's my brother, just like everybody else on that field," Warner added. "I know we all know the journey he's gone through, so pulling for him. Whatever the news is, I've got his back."

Verrett was in tears as he tried to make his way to the locker room after the injury. He tried to get there on his own but eventually needed help. It was emotional for his teammates and fans to watch because everyone knows Verrett's history with injuries. It's been an issue that plagued his NFL career, and the cornerback felt he was finally past.

"J.V., he's one of those guys who battled back from a lot of stuff, just in his whole career," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters. "Not even just with us, but before that, even. It's tough to see a guy go down like that. I don't really know what it is exactly, but you just hate to see it. So, we're pulling for him. We're all in it together with him. It's tough, though."

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has dealt with injury issues himself during his short NFL career but nothing to the extent of what Verrett has endured.

"It's kind of hard because J.V. is a great guy," Samuel said. "I mean, he's been working so hard to come out here and prove himself, and then just to see him go down, I just pray nothing is really wrong with him, and you can tell it took a toll on the team."

Samuel added that Verrett has made him a better wide receiver thanks to the two going against each other in practices.

"J.V. has done everything he possibly could to prevent from happening," Samuel continued. "He's a great guy, and I just pray that nothing is really wrong with him."

Others, like All-Pro tight end George Kittle and veteran pass rusher Dee Ford feel for their injured teammate, but want to make sure he knows he has their support.

"J.V. has been a leader on this team," Kittle said. "His story of just playing at a high level and getting hurt, playing at a high level and getting hurt, it's awful. It definitely knocks the wind out of your sails. I mean, he's a leader on this team. He's a guy that's consistent, shows up every single day, plays at a high level. He makes plays when we need them. He's reliable, and when that happens, it just sucks. I mean, he's a great football player, and I feel absolutely terrible for him. Yeah, it really sucks.

"I know he's going to attack his rehab. I mean, we don't really know what he did but whatever it is, we're going to miss him for however long he's out."

Ford's time in the NFL has also included several injury-related setbacks. He missed all but one game last season due to a back injury and had to battle back to return.

"It's always the next-man-up mentality," Ford said. "But for me personally, me and him both have kind of been up and down with the injuries. So, I was really torn up to see that. A guy fights to get in this position. Health is one of the biggest things that athletes go through, so just to see that happen to him, praying the best for him.

"He's a soldier, so he'll be alright. But it wasn't a good thing for me to see."

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