Wednesday marked the final day the 49ers could keep Jason Verrett in designated-for-return limbo. As a result, the cornerback is back on San Francisco’s 53-man roster.
The 49ers activated the ninth-year vet from their reserve/PUP list, using the third of their injury activations to do so. Although Verrett is probably the NFL’s most injury-prone active player, he has been effective when available. Verrett’s 2020 season in San Francisco enticed the team to give the former first-rounder two additional one-year contracts. He is currently attached to a one-year deal worth just more than $1MM.
Verrett is in the final stages of recovering from his September 2021 ACL tear. Verrett’s activation seemed somewhat in doubt last week, when knee soreness, per the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch, held him out of multiple practices. Kyle Shanahan said the soreness was not related to a problem with Verrett’s fall 2021 surgery.
Considering Verrett’s past, the 49ers had planned to slow-play it with him this year. The former Chargers Pro Bowler has missed 88 games since coming into the league. This included a late-2010s span in which he played two games in three seasons. Verrett has suffered two ACL tears — one in each knee — and a torn Achilles since entering the NFL. But he made the Pro Bowl during a 14-game 2015 and excelled for the 49ers as a 13-game starter in 2020.
Emmanuel Moseley‘s season-ending ACL tear opens the door for Verrett to return to the 49ers’ lineup. That scenario is believed to be in play, despite the TCU product’s injury-marred career. It certainly cannot be assumed Verrett will stay healthy, but the 49ers’ defense has run into injury trouble at every position. Any boost the 31-year-old cover man can provide would be a bonus.
San Francisco also brought back Tevin Coleman, who was released Tuesday. Coleman is rejoining the 49ers on a practice squad deal. The 49ers changed their backfield situation last week, trading for Christian McCaffrey, but the team still has Elijah Mitchell on IR and has seen third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price miss time with an ankle injury.