SANTA CLARA -- When 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has been healthy, he has been a Pro Bowl-caliber NFL cornerback.
After missing the preseason with an ankle injury, Verrett was listed as questionable on the 49ers’ injury report for Week 1. He did not appear on the injury report leading up to Week 2.
Yet, Verrett is still waiting to make his debut with the 49ers, with whom he signed a one-year contract in the offseason. He was declared one of the team’s seven inactive players for both of the 49ers' first two games. The decisions on which players are inactive are announced 90 minutes before kickoff.
“Yeah, it’s very difficult when it’s like that,” said Verrett, 28, a first-round pick of the Chargers in 2014. “But at the same time, I’m a pro. I take it for what it is, and control what I can control and just try to move forward with it.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers did not seriously consider playing him in the first two games as he was returning from the ankle injury.
“I know he really wanted to get out there last week, but we tried to play it smart with him,” Shanahan said. “He has a better chance to get out there this week. That’s something we will discuss. It doesn’t all have to do with him. It’ll have to do with the rest of the roster and how we plan on attacking these guys.”
The 49ers play their regular-season home opener on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi's Stadium.
Verrett sustained a torn Achilles on the first day of camp last summer with the Chargers and missed the entire 2018 season. A variety of injuries have limited Verrett to just 25 games in six seasons. In 2014, Verrett appeared in a career-high 14 games, and he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.
This is something new for Verrett to be healthy and not suiting up for games.
“It’s definitely an adjustment for me, not being on the field,” he said. “I’m just taking it by day by day.”
Ahkello Witherspoon has strengthened his hold on the job as the 49ers’ starting right cornerback with veteran Richard Sherman on the left side. Witherspoon and Sherman had interception returns for touchdowns in the 49ers' opener at Tampa Bay.
Verrett has not played any nickel back with the 49ers, but he said he's capable of covering the slot receiver because of his familiarity with the defense.
“I think everything is going to play out how it’s supposed to be,” Verrett said. "I just got to continue taking care of my body and doing what I need to do in practice.
“I feel with how the defense is playing -- they’re playing well -- I feel it’s going to be a time where I’m going to find my way onto the field. I just got to control what I can control ... If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. All I can do is stay prepared week-in and week-out, and when my number is called, be ready to play.”
The 49ers have entered the first two games of the season with Emmanuel Moseley and D.J. Reed as the backup cornerbacks – due mostly to their contributions on special teams.
Verrett said he is trying to remain focused on putting himself in a position to play his best football when his time comes to step on the field.
When asked if he would consider asking for a trade if he continues to be inactive for games, Verrett told NBC Sports Bay Area, “We’ll see what happens.”