SF 49ers depth chart: 5 players who step up in wake of injuries

Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Jason Verrett, SF 49ers, Artie Burns, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Verrett #27 of the San Francisco 49ers defends Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No. 3: SF 49ers Cornerback Jason Verrett

Asking veteran cornerback Jason Verrett to step up in the wake of SF 49ers injuries seems a bit counterproductive, especially considering Verrett has appeared in just six regular-season games since the start of the 2016 season, saw a mere two snaps with the Niners last year and was already hampered by a hamstring injury at the end of training camp this season.

But Verrett is back practicing in full now, and the hope is he can revert back to being something close to the Pro Bowl-caliber player he was in 2015 with the San Diego Chargers.

That’s the hope at least. Yet it’s needed.

Richard Sherman is going to be out for at least the next two weeks. His primary replacement, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, struggled in Week 2 and allowed the Jets’ only touchdown of the day while surrendering a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted by New York’s quarterback, Sam Darnold, according to Pro Football Focus. Witherspoon might be a decent depth and fill-in option under the best of circumstances.

When healthy, however, Verrett should be considered an upgrade.

Getting something, anything positive out of Verrett would be a massive bonus for San Francisco. And it would provide him the chance to revitalize what has turned into a disappointing injury-laden career.

If there has ever been a time for Verrett to get back on the right side of the health track, it’s now.