According to multiple reports, San Francisco 49ers promising young defensive back Chris Culliver tore his ACL in practice on Thursday and will miss the entire 2013 season.
Culliver was a huge part of the 49ers defense as he was the nickel back (third corner) and he played 63% of the snaps last year. Luckily, the 49ers Front Office made moves that softened this blow that will most assuredly hurt them, but won’t ruin the defense.
The first smart move that Niners General Manager Trent Baalke did was sign Nnamdi Asomugha to a non-guaranteed one-year deal. Asomugha went from longshot to make the 49ers roster to having a chance to be the 49ers nickel cornerback or if he keeps up his stellar play in Training Camp he could even move into the starting corner spot opposite of Tarell Brown.
The Niners could also revisit a failed trade with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner Eric Wright. Wright is now a free agent and reportedly spent time with Baalke on Thursday. Wright would have to pass a physical to join the team, but the 49ers were intersted in him before and now that he’s a free agent if he’s healthy he can come and compete with the other corners on the team.
San Francisco returned their top-five corners from last year and added Asomugha and potentially Wright, while the Culliver injury hurts, the Niners are, of course, in a great position to take the punch on the chin and counter.