49ers' Hightower backs Cannon after special teams struggles

Trenton Cannon

It was a Sunday to forget for San Francisco 49ers running back Trenton Cannon last week. 

The 27-year-old was tasked with returning kicks against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 and ended up fumbling ... twice ... on the same return 

Seattle capitalized on the turnover, scoring a touchdown two plays later. 

For a temporary third-string running back who isn't expected to have a role on the team after Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson Jr. both eventually return, most would have expected Sunday to be Cannon's last appearance with the team. However, the 49ers' confidence in Cannon hasn't seemed to waivered. 

"We still have confidence in Cannon," special teams coordinator Richard Hightower told reporters Wednesday. "There will be some competition there for Cannon as well, as he expects, and there should be competition there. But he's done a great job for us. Before last game, obviously, he had a couple hiccups there, but again, I’ve got to do a better job of helping him as well. We all do. I'm not going to sit here and pin everything on Cannon. But Cannon has been a darn good player for us."

The fumble, in particular, resulted in disaster. After muffing the initial return, Cannon recovered and continued running, only to fumble once more. Hightower explained what Cannon should have done at that moment instead of trying to continue up-field. 

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"If you've got a bad play, you never want to make a bad play a disaster," Hightower said. "So, in that particular situation, just secure it and we'll live to fight another down and let the offense do what they do. When we put the defense in a bad situation there, which I still feel awful about, Cannon feels awful about, our whole kickoff return team does, and we want to do everything in our power to help the defense."


It's hard to blame Cannon for wanting to make something out of nothing; playmakers are wired to seek out additional yardage. 

Unfortunately for the 49ers, who ended up losing by one touchdown, Cannon's turnover was extremely costly. Fortunately for the fourth-year back, he might have another opportunity. 

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