SF 49ers: 3 players who’ll be key in defeating Saints in Week 10

Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Tre'Quan Smith, Emmanuel Moseley, New Orleans Saints, SF 49ers
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (10) and San Francisco 49ers defensive back Emmanuel Moseley (41) Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: SF 49ers Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley

It’s looking more and more like veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who has been out since Week 2 with a calf injury, won’t be available off injured reserve for Week 10. So this means the SF 49ers’ likely starting boundary-corner tandem will again consist of Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley.

Verrett and Moseley against Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas.

Thomas is going to be a problem for the Niners defense, and it wouldn’t be shocking if defensive coordinator Robert Saleh elects to have Verrett, San Francisco’s best corner this season, shadow Thomas as much as possible.

Still, that leaves Sanders in a prime position to test Moseley throughout the game.

Moseley has been modestly OK this season, posting an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 58.4 this season with opposing quarterbacks having a 109.1 passer rating when targeting him. It’s no longer looking as if the undrafted Moseley is emerging as a hidden-gem find, rather a solid depth corner capable of starting in a pinch.

That might work well enough against some less-potent receiver corps. But against the Saints, Moseley will need to be on point throughout the contest to prevent receivers like Sanders from making too big an impact.