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Don’t expect 49ers CB Emmanuel Moseley back anytime soon

Rohan Chakravarthi
Dec 20, 2021 at 3:00 PM

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Emmanuel Moseley has undoubtedly been the 49ers' best cornerback in 2021, especially since Jason Verrett tore his ACL in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, ruling him out for the season.

The fourth-year veteran, who signed a 2-year, $10 million extension in the offseason, has made an impressive leap this season, allowing a 55.8% completion rate on 52 targets and a passer rating of 72.6, while accumulating ten passes defended.

However, Moseley was hurt early against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13. Later, scans revealed a high-ankle sprain, forcing him to miss several weeks, and it doesn't seem like he's coming back anytime soon, much to San Francisco's dismay.

"I think it's still going to be some time," Kyle Shanahan said to reporters Monday morning via conference call. "I mean, I think we'd be fortunate to get him by [Week 18's game against] L.A. Hopefully, if he can't do it then, then we find a way to make sure we're still playing after that game."

Shanahan's uncertainty makes it seem that Moseley likely won't be available until the playoffs, especially if San Francisco's matchup against the Los Angeles Rams is meaningless for playoff seeding.

Without Moseley, San Francisco's worst position group has easily been their cornerbacks, as Josh Norman and Ambry Thomas have filled in as CB1 and CB2, respectively. Thomas has been heavily targeted, which was expected given the rookie's lack of experience and his sudden shift into the starting lineup.

Dontae Johnson did serve as the replacement for Moseley initially, but was not with the team last weekend due to the tragic passing of his mother, and returned to the team this Friday, but did not play on defense Sunday, instead logging just 12 snaps on special teams. It's unknown whether Johnson will re-claim his starting spot against the Tennessee Titans on San Francisco's short week.

While the cornerbacks have struggled to make plays recently, the rest of the 49ers defense has stepped up, as San Francisco's generated eight sacks over the last two games, Fred Warner has played admirably, and the safety duo of Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt have continuously made plays in the passing game and on the ground.

Regardless, Moseley's loss is major, and San Francisco will most certainly need him for the playoffs, should they make it, to have the best chance to move forward.
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