K’Waun Williams getting the start at nickel forced rookie defensive back D.J. Reed into a support role in Week 16, despite the first-year player’s strong efforts when Williams was absent with injury, previously.
Williams had a solid game, and the Niners will have to decide what kind of competition brews up this offseason at the position.
Reed did manage to get into the game later, though, when Williams exited with a knee injury for a time being. As a result, the rookie saw a total of 20 snaps in relief, allowing two catches on two pass attempts but giving up a mere 11 yards total in the process.
It’s pretty clear Reed is more comfortable playing cornerback than free safety, where the 49ers attempted to play him earlier this season with mixed results. And while Week 16 didn’t provide a lot of evidence to support the claim, previous weeks certainly have.