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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

‘I just got to step up to the plate’: New 49ers starting cornerback Deommodore Lenoir on his new role

Sep 16, 2021 at 6:50 PM

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A lot of newer young players will need to step up to the plate in order to fill the void left in the once potent 49ers' secondary after former starting cornerback Jason Verrett went down for the season with a torn ACL. Even prior to the heart-breaking loss in arguably the most important defensive unit this season, the secondary depth, especially the cornerback, was a red flag. Behind Verrett was an injured Emmanuel Moseley and two unproven rookie cornerbacks, who had size and skill concerns as they were taken after the first two rounds, not a great place to invest in a premium position.

Fifth-round rookie Deommodore Lenoir however, has been a very pleasant surprise for San Fransisco, at least through preseason and Week 1 of the NFL season. Lenoir allowed a 0.0 passer rating on 6 targets thrown his way through the first two weeks of preseason, and during the first week of the season, he allowed only 1 catch for 3 yards in 62 total coverage snaps.

Throughout the game, Lenoir was able to play 90 snaps, just the kind of durability and endurance that the Niners need at the position. Kyle Shanahan himself looks to be very impressed by the rookie, even saying that Lenoir is "not scared of the moment."

D-Mo acknowledges the new role he will have now that the team is plagued with injury at the position, saying, "[It's important to] just get the mindset of I got to be ready you… cause they gonna come they're gonna try to find me because I'm new i'm [the] rookie so I just gotta step up to the plate."

Rookie or not, quarterback Jared Goff seemed to avoid Lenoir for most of the game and saw the first target come his way in only the fourth quarter, impressive for the young rookie.

Lenoir also claims he was ready to play another 90 snaps after his heavy workload during the Sunday morning game against the Detroit Lions, and he will get his next opportunity to shine in the upcoming game against the rising Eagles offense led by Jalen Hurts and fellow rookie Devonta Smith.
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