The 49ers have been shorthanded at cornerback for much of the year, but they could get two of their injured players back soon.
The San Francisco 49ers have undergone a slight rash of injuries over the last few weeks, but the bulk of those have centered on the offensive side of the ball, namely with left tackle Trent Williams and wide receiver Deebo Samuel missing time.
Things have been slightly better on defense, although the Niners have been a bit shorthanded within their secondary, primarily at cornerback where Ambry Thomas is the sole backup listed on San Francisco's unofficial depth chart.
To mitigate this, the 49ers have regularly called up practice squad players to guard against injury, but it would be more ideal to have regular contributors on the 53-man roster who could bolster the unit.
The Niners may be welcoming two of their young cornerbacks back from injury soon.
49ers injury updates: CBs Samuel Womack and Darrell Luter Jr. have practice windows opened, could return soon
San Francisco could use some help at nickel cornerback, and second-year pro Samuel Womack showed enough promise his rookie season a year ago to suggest he might be a long-term option.
Even if the 49ers inked Isaiah Oliver on a two-year free-agent deal earlier this offseason.
Womack has been on injured reserve since Week 1 with a knee injury, while rookie corner Darrell Luter Jr. suffered his injury during offseason workouts, one that landed him on the reserve/physically unable-to-perform list.
The Niners announced they opened three-week practice windows for both players, as well as defensive end Robert Beal Jr., who was selected in Round 5 of this year's NFL Draft but hasn't seen action all year.
Given San Francisco has a stockpile of defensive ends after trading for both Randy Gregory and Chase Young, it's likely Beal is shut down all year with his injury and awaits 2024 to make an impact.
As for Luter and Womack, though, either player returning within that three-week window seems more likely.
Should the 49ers not activate any of their players whose practice windows are opening, then those players will be fully shelved on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.