SF 49ers: 4 players who need to see more playing time moving forward

Jeff Wilson #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jeff Wilson #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Marcell Harris, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Marcell Harris (36) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: SF 49ers Safety Marcell Harris

Last year, the Niners offense seemed to suffer the majority of injuries. This season, it appears as if the defense is bearing the brunt of the setbacks.

Fans should have cringed thinking the SF 49ers would be without their starting safety tandem against New England, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, who were both out with injuries. And while it’ll be better for San Francisco to get those two players back sooner than later, no one forgot to tell backup defensive backs Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris they were going to be liabilities.

Harris appears to have turned the page on his lowly pass-coverage problems experienced during fill-in duties last season. To date, Pro Football Focus has him with a respectable 62.3 pass-coverage grade on 69 coverage snaps. And in Week 7, he received a solid 66.9 overall grade after notching six tackles, only one behind the team leader in this category, linebacker Fred Warner.

What makes Harris’ ascent more important is Tartt is pegged for free agency next season. Currently dealing with a groin injury, it’s unclear when Tartt will be healthy enough to return, so Harris might end up seeing a lot of the field anyway.

That time should allow the Niners front office to determine whether or not it’s worth keeping the former Florida Gator around, either as a reserve to Tartt or someone else, or potentially as a starting option in 2021.