San Francisco 49ers: 3 thinnest positions entering 2020

Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers
Jaquiski Tartt #29 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 49ers Safeties

George Kittle’s injury history is pretty brief, thankfully. But the same can’t be said of San Francisco’s safety tandem of Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt.

Ward enjoyed a career-best season in 2019, earning him a three-year re-sign deal during the offseason, which cements him as a key component for the 49ers moving forward. But despite a relatively healthy 2019 campaign, it’s impossible to overlook the fact Ward has landed on season-ending injured reserve in four of his first six seasons at the pro level.

Meanwhile, Tartt has missed 19 regular-season games the last three years.

San Francisco didn’t do a lot to address its secondary during the offseason, and the only notable addition at safety was to grab the undrafted Jared Mayden out of Alabama after the NFL Draft.

Mayden has promise, yes. And he could feasibly challenge Tartt’s backup, Marcell Harris, for the primary down-in-the-box reserve role. Harris has proven himself a worthy run-stopper, but his pass-coverage skills have left a lot to be desired.

This was particularly evident when Tart missed four games last year with a ribs injury.

Tarvarius Moore is still being groomed as a quality backup for multiple spots within the secondary, including free safety. But Moore was nowhere near ready for this assignment early in 2019, and the same could end up being true in 2020 if Ward goes down with an elongated injury.