On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers announced that cornerback Jason Verrett was out for the season, after tearing his ACL in the team’s Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions.
“Jason puts his heart into this and he’s been through this a ton,” Shanahan said. “When he’s played, he’s had a great career. But everyone knows how much more is out there with how good of a player he is. And it’s tough for him, but he’s also a man and is as tough of a guy as I’ve been around. So, he’ll persevere. It takes time. It’ll pass, but you have to grieve it a little bit. And I know he’s probably doing that right now and we all are for him.”
It was also announced that running back Raheem Mostert tore off a piece of cartilage that would require surgery, sidelining him for eight weeks.
“That’s part of football,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said on a Monday conference call with the media. “I’m not going to sit here and be a therapist to everyone about it. I thought we got out of the game mostly healthy. Two unfortunate things for both of them. Fortunately, I think we’ll get Raheem back later this year, so we’ve got to make sure that guys hold down the fort while he’s gone.”
On Tuesday, Mostert announced via social media that, after consulting with doctors, he decided having season-ending knee surgery, saying that he was “gutted” by the decision.
— Raheem Mostert (@RMos_8Ball) September 14, 2021
With Mostert out, rookie running back Elijah Mitchell will start and rookie running back Trey Sermon, who was a healthy scratch against the Lions, will make his debut. Mitchell stepped up when Mostert went out early in Week One, finishing the day with 19 carries for 104 yards and one 38-yard touchdown.
“…Elijah came in and looked just a little bit ahead of [Sermon] in the limited plays that he got,” Shanahan said. “No one was passing up Raheem, so you only could get three guys up. It’s not an easy decision, but that’s part of the NFL. But it’s a matter of time…I expect [Sermon] to come in and play at a high level and just keep getting better because there’s a reason we drafted him and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him. But we’ve got a lot of confidence in all our guys in the building right now.”
With the loss of Verrett, the 49es already thin depth at cornerback became even thinner.
“Losing a player like Jason is a pretty big deal just because of the type of person he is and how good of a player he is,” Shanahan said. “I’m glad we were ahead of the case, bringing in [CB] Josh [Norman] last week. And we should get E-Man [CB Emmanuel Moseley] back soon. I can’t guarantee this week but I’m holding out hope for it. With that being the case, I feel like we’ve got enough guys in our building. But that’s something that you’ve always got to look to see if there’s any way you can improve. You always do that.”
Moseley (knee) missed Sunday’s game after not practicing last week. If Moseley is not available, the starting corners would most likely be rookie Deommodore Lenoir and the newly-signed Norman. NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported Monday that the 49ers were finalizing a deal with free-agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who when with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, had three interceptions and seven pass breakups.
Losing both Mostert and Verrett is a tough blow to the team both on-and-off the field.