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Mooney locks down Metcalf, plays 'hell of a game' vs. Seahawks

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SEATTLE -- Cornerback Charvarius Ward left the 49ers' game against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter Thursday night to be evaluated for a possible concussion.

The medical personnel on site cleared him to return to the game, but that was not enough for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan had the final say, and he decided to stick with veteran cornerback Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins, up from the practice squad.

“I just didn't feel totally right about it, just talking to him and stuff,” Shanahan said of Ward. “We didn't think he should go back in.”

There have been times in recent seasons when a player has been cleared to return, then reports symptoms the next day and goes into the NFL's concussion protocol.

Shanahan opted not to take any chances with an important member of the NFL's top-ranked defense.

Ward has been a huge addition to the 49ers this season after the club signed him as an unrestricted free agent.

On Thursday, he had the tall order of shadowing wide receiver DK Metcalf, the Seahawks’ best offensive player.

His performance was a key to the 49ers’ 21-13 division-clinching victory over the Seahawks.

Before leaving the game at the end of the third quarter, Ward was in coverage against Metcalf on 25 of 35 plays, according to NextGen Stats. Metcalf was targeted six times with Ward in coverage. He caught four passes for just 33 yards. He forced three tight-window throws.


Shanahan described Ward’s play as “huge.”

“DK is as big of a challenge as any receivers in this league, how physical he is, how explosive he is,” Shanahan said. “Just really cool to watch him battle with him.”

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Metcalf was penalized for taunting and had a 27-yard reception wiped out when he grabbed Ward’s jersey and pulled him to the ground for offensive pass interference.

“Just watching him [Ward] battle in the game, not shy away, I thought he played a hell of a game,” Shanahan said.

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