No. 1: SF 49ers Safety Johnathan Cyprien
While cornerback has some well-established injury concerns, the Niners’ situation at safety isn’t exactly reassuring either.
Few would question the abilities of starting safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, given San Francisco owned the No. 1 pass defense in the league last season and both players were key reasons why.
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Yet both Ward and Tartt have their injury concerns, too. Ward has landed on season-ending injured reserve in four of his first six seasons at the pro level, while Tartt has missed 19 regular-season games over the past three years.
The hope is, of course, both players wind up staying fully healthy over the course of 2020. But it wouldn’t be a shocker, sadly, to see at least one of those two players go down for a week or two early.
Defensive backs Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris are pegged as the primary backups for Ward and Tartt, respectively. But to get the numbers right, and in light of the practice squad’s new rules for promotions, any injury to the starters would likely prompt San Francisco to promote one of their other veterans on the practice squad, safety Johnathan Cyprien.
Interestingly enough, Cyprien initially said he wouldn’t take a spot on the practice squad if he didn’t make the cut. Yet he recanted on that claim and immediately becomes the elder-statesman defensive back from this unit.
It’s good to have that kind of experience to guard against high-risk injury chances from either Ward or Tartt.