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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers have options for the secondary

Oct 13, 2022 at 7:55 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers lost cornerback Emmanuel Moseley on Sunday to an ACL injury in a victory over the Carolina Panthers. Moseley will miss the remainder of the season, and we wish him well in a speedy recovery. Because of Moseley's dedication and hard work, he had a phenomenal (albeit shortened) season. He went out with his first career pick-six against the Panthers.

Many fans wonder who will replace Emmanuel Moseley. Unfortunately, the answer is no one. He's irreplaceable.

The 49ers have a stable of defensive backs they can select from to fill in for their injured defensive back, and one of them is a former first-round pick, Jason Verrett.

"So if Verrett can get these practice reps, and get out there, and get fully healed, and get back into game shape, and get ready to go, he'll end up being our guy," head coach Kyle Shanahan said.

Verrett would be the number one option to fill in for the injured Moseley, but he has to show and prove that he's ready to play this week in practice.

If Verrett can not perform in the upcoming game against the Falcons and the 49ers wanted to go the veteran route, the next option would be Dontae Johnson. Johnson has been one the most serviceable and versatile players in the secondary. He is a whenever-you-call-me-I'll-be-there type of player that has become a fan favorite during his tenure with the 49ers.

The two second-year players, Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas, could be great options to start opposite Moseley. Lenoir has a good year thus far, lining up in the slot, a position he worked his tail off for in practice to get. Although his frame and body type tells he's a nickel back, Lenoir has experience as an outside corner, where he played most of his snaps at the University of Oregon.

Ambry Thomas, the former third-round pick, showed he was ready to start at the end of the 2021 season. Shanahan explained why Thomas hadn't been much of an option this season during his latest presser.

"Just coming back to OTAs, to training camp, other guys have passed him up, and he's working hard to get back," Shanahan said. "I think he's made much more progress in the last three weeks than in camp."

If Thomas, who played in eight snaps against the panthers, had two targets and gave up one reception, can get up to speed, he could be coming for that number two spot.

Last but certainly not least is the rookie Samuel Womack III. Womack is another player that played predominantly on the outside during his time at Toledo. Since becoming a 49er, we've seen him only play in the slot for most of his short career. In Week 5 against the Panthers, Womack lined up more outside (nine snaps) than he did inside (six snaps). He saw two targets, giving up only one pass for eight yards. Though Womack is the most inexperienced, he is a rookie that earned a spot on this roster and can be a solid option opposite Charvarius "Mooney" Ward.

Imagine having a garage with several high-performance vehicles. One is your most precious car, but it is coming off repairs, and you're unsure when to take it out for a drive. Your other option is the old reliable. The driver may have driven too much, but it will get you from point A to point B, and there may be some hiccups along the way. Next, you've got two young cars with some tread on their tires. The driver needs to drive the automobiles to get a better grip on handling those young, powerful engines.

Last, there's the new model version of your most prized and precious car. It has all the latest bells and whistles, but it's inexperienced on the road. The only way to find out how this baby rides is by letting it ride. The 49ers have options in their secondary, all capable of complementing Mooney Ward. Who would you choose as option number two?
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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