The 49ers will likely need these five players to stay relatively healthy in 2022 after they suffered serious injuries a season ago.
San Francisco 49ers fans don’t need to dig too deep into the memory bank to understand just how injuries can turn any given season into a complete disaster.
2020 wasn’t exactly that long ago.
Granted, the Niners’ 2021 campaign was nowhere near as horrendous as the previous season as far as injuries go, but last year was probably worse than it might have appeared. Right out of the gate in Week 1, San Francisco lost starting running back Raheem Mostert, No. 1 cornerback Jason Verrett and linebacker Dre Greenlaw, the prior two with season-ending injuries and Greenlaw missing almost all the regular season.
There were more, too.
While injuries are as big a part of football as the football itself, the 49ers are hoping to have a comparatively clean slate of health entering 2022, which includes getting some players back from debilitating injuries suffered last year.
Especially these five poised to return and make a big impact.
No. 5: 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett
It was absolutely devastating watching Verrett walk off the field at Ford Field in Week 1 a year ago with a torn ACL after enjoying his first fully healthy season the year prior.
Verrett’s injury-riddled career meant his two most productive campaigns were in 2015 and 2020 with that substantial gap of missing time in between, then compounded by what happened in 2021.
The Niners nevertheless are taking another low-risk gamble by re-signing Verrett to a one-year deal where he’ll either play in a starter’s role opposite No. 1 cornerback Charvarius Ward or will serve as a backup to both Ward and fellow corner Emmanuel Moseley.
Verrett’s health will have a lot to do with that, of course, but San Francisco’s secondary will be significantly better if the 31-year-old veteran can play a substantial role this upcoming season.
Unlike last year, however, the 49ers are equipped with enough depth if Verrett suffers yet another setback.