Cornerback Jason Verrett was officially ruled out for the season on Monday after an MRI confirmed he sustained a torn ACL in his right knee.
The setback is another in a long line of severe injuries Verrett has sustained since breaking into the NFL in 2014 as a first-round draft pick of the Chargers.
In eight NFL seasons, Verrett appeared in more than six games just twice, including his Pro Bowl season of 2015.
His seasons ended after just one game in 2017, 2019 and, now, 2021. He sat out the entire 2018 season due to a torn Achilles sustained on the first day of training camp.
“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,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on conference call with Bay Area reporters.
The 49ers hoped Verrett had turned a corner in his career last season when he started 13 games and played at a consistently high level.
The 49ers signed Verrett, 30, to one-year contracts for each of the past three seasons, and Shanahan suggested he would be reluctant to ever give up on him.
“It’s always a tough situation, but I’ll believe in Jason until he doesn’t want to do it,” Shanahan said. “If anybody can get through stuff like this, no matter how many times it’s happened, it’s Jason. He wouldn’t surprise me with anything.
“Jason is a guy that I don’t think there will ever be a time when I don’t want him to be a part of us.”
Verrett will likely remain with the club as they practice at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The 49ers are staying on the East Coast between Weeks 1 and 2 games at Detroit and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 49ers find themselves without a key defensive player for the remainder of the season, but Shanahan said he believes the club has enough players to compensate for the loss of Verrett.
Last week, the 49ers signed veteran cornerback Josh Norman for depth. Norman did not suit up the 49ers’ season opener.
Rookie Deommodore Lenoir started in place of Emmanuel Moseley on Sunday. The team believes Moseley has a chance to return to action on Sunday in Philadelphia.
“With that being the case, I feel we got enough guys in our building,” Shanahan said. “But that’s something you always got to look to see if there’s anyway you can improve. You always do that.”