The 49ers lost a pair of defensive players to ankle injuries during training camp Wednesday, but the diagnoses were not as bad as some first feared.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that MRIs showed rookie edge rusher Nick Bosa and cornerback Jason Verrett both had ankle sprains. While Verrett's was considered minor, Rapoport speculated that the 49ers could keep Bosa, the No. 2 pick in April's NFL draft, out of the preseason as a precaution.
#49ers first-round pick DE Nick Bosa was diagnosed with just an ankle sprain, I’m told. He had an MRI after practice. Expect the team to be cautious with their top pick, meaning you may not see him in the preseason.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 8, 2019
More good news for the #49ers: CB Jason Verrett also has a minor ankle sprain, following his MRI, I’m told. A sigh of relief there.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 8, 2019
Both Bosa and Verrett were working their way back onto the field after injuries ended both of their 2018 seasons. Bosa missed all but three games in his final season at Ohio State after a core-muscle injury required surgery. Verrett, meanwhile, ruptured his Achilles during training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers. The 28-year-old has not played in a full 16-game season during his NFL career, and has only played in five contests since the start of the 2017 season.
As for Verrett, his absence -- however short -- could create an opportunity for competing cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Witherspoon was listed ahead of Verrett at the right cornerback position on the 49ers' unofficial depth chart.
Depending upon how much the starters play in Saturday's preseason opener, Witherspoon has a chance to further his case for a starting role.