Despite his costly fumble in Week 4, 49ers return specialist Trent Cannon seems safe from the chopping block, according to Richard Hightower.
One of the many quick-take reactions from the San Francisco 49ers‘ 28-21 Week 4 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks was the Niners had to part ways with their primary return specialist, running back Trent Cannon.
Cannon committed a costly fumble on a kickoff between two Seattle touchdowns, which spanned a mere five plays.
Actually, he fumbled twice on the same play, muffing the kickoff and then fumbling the ball again as he was going towards the ground. The Seahawks subsequently recovered, scoring two plays later and pushing their lead out to 21-7 in the third quarter.
Looking at the final score of the game, and with all other things being equal, it’s pretty safe to assume that lone play and mistake by Cannon was a massive difference-maker.
Cannon was still on the roster by Monday, though, yet that didn’t necessarily ease the thought of him retaining his job as a return specialist.
That is until special teams coordinator Richard Hightower spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
49ers don’t seem set on parting ways with Trent Cannon
During Hightower’s Wednesday presser, Cannon came up in the discussion. Hightower’s comments were telling.
“I’m looking forward to seeing that kid play,” Hightower said. “I love him. I really do.”
San Francisco has long committed to the idea of upgrading at any position whenever possible, so one can assume the team is always looking for an upgrade. Even if that means dismissing Cannon.
But in the wake of the 49ers waiving former wide receiver and return specialist Richie James prior to Week 1, with him reverting to injured reserve, there hasn’t exactly been a top-quality option. And while Cannon’s 21.4 yards-per-return average on seven kickoffs this season isn’t exactly of the eye-popping variety, one can’t soon forget how his 68-yard kickoff return in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers helped spark a comeback that nearly ensured the Niners a come-from-behind victory.
Perhaps Hightower is looking more closely at the good than the bad.
At any rate, don’t expect Cannon to be part of the Niners’ transaction wire anytime soon. It looks like his job is safe.