The 49ers placed Richard Sherman on injured reserve on Wednesday with a calf strain, making him ineligible to play in the next three games.
Either way, Sherman was probably not going to see much action Sunday against the New York Jets.
The absence of Sherman could have a big impact on Jets coach Adam Gase, who freely admits he has struggled in the past when going up against the All-Decade cornerback.
“It probably affects me as a play-caller more, because Sherm was always -- and he knows this,” Gase said, searching for the right words. “He knows that he always ... Sherm can get in my head pretty good.”
Gase's offenses have gone against Sherman's teams four times in his career as a play-caller -- twice as offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos, including Super Bowl XLVIII, once as Chicago Bears offensive coordinator and once as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
In those four games, Sherman allowed just five receptions on 15 targets for 33 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
“He’s a tough guy to go against because his intelligence level is off the charts,” Gase said of Sherman. “His knowledge of football is phenomenal. If you ever sit and talk to him, it’s unbelievable all the things he knows what’s going on throughout the league.
“He can identify splits and depths. He makes it really hard for a play-caller because you notice that he sees certain splits and he starts cheating his technique and stuff, and it screws you up as a play-caller because you think he knows the play. And a lot of times, he does.”
The 49ers have some issues at cornerback with Sherman out and backup Ahkello Witherspoon currently in the concussion protocol. Whereas his instinct might have been for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to avoid Sherman, Gase now is not likely to feel those same restraints.
When asked if he and Sherman have spoken on the topic of Gase’s teams largely avoiding his side of the field, Gase acknowledged the conversation has taken place.
“He knows it, yeah,” Gase said. “I know him. He knows it.”