No. 3: Ahkello Witherspoon Continues to Start… for Now
Like Reuben Foster, second-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has shown some awful regression in 2018. Unlike Foster, however, Witherspoon can’t exactly peg the issues on injuries.
San Francisco 49ers
After a problematic first few weeks of the season, Witherspoon started to show some poise up until his Week 10 performance against New York, namely displaying some visible frustrations after allowing a passing touchdown to Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. That earned some criticism from both Kyle Shanahan and fellow cornerback Richard Sherman.
Witherspoon can still be a major part of the 49ers’ rebuild. And it’s not uncommon to see rookie and second-year defensive backs either struggle early or go through some sort of slump after making good early impressions.
That said, Witherspoon could easily be on a short leash. The Niners invested another third-round pick in speedy defensive back Tarvarius Moore. And while Moore hasn’t seen a lot of time at boundary corner — he is transitioning from safety to cornerback — there are signs a switch could be coming in anytime now.
Bad news for Witherspoon if it happens.
For now, Witherspoon holds onto his starting job. It could stay that way for the rest of the year too, although Moore is gaining in the competition.