49ers roster: 5 players who must step up most after bye week

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Deommodore Lenoir, San Francisco 49ers
Deommodore Lenoir #38 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir

Ideally, the 49ers wouldn’t have to field second-year cornerback Deommodore Lenoir in a prominent role. But, in the wake of losing starting corner Emmanuel Moseley to a season-ending ACL tear back in Week 5, Lenoir has suddenly gone from a depth piece to a versatile starter.

And not necessarily in a good way.

Lenoir is looking like he’ll be the favorite to start in Moseley’s stead, at least until veteran cornerback Jason Verrett works his way back from the ACL tear suffered in 2021 that forced him onto the physically unable-to-perform list to begin this season, and Verrett hasn’t seen on-field action yet either.

Even if that happens, Verrett’s own injury history is a reason why Lenoir has to be 100-percent ready to assume starting duties opposite the Niners’ No. 1 cornerback, Charvarius Ward.

Read More: Cornerbacks who must step up with Emmanuel Moseley done for the year

So, why is this important?

Ward has been outstanding this season, meaning opposing quarterbacks won’t bother testing him if someone like Lenoir is much more easily victimized in pass coverage.

That’s a pretty good reason to step things up in the second half unless Lenoir wants to be San Francisco’s weakest link on defense.