The Warriors late Wednesday night alleviated a lot of concerns about the long-term health of Kevin Durant, stating the star forward did not sustain an Achilles injury.
Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman knows first hand how much an Achilles injury can linger through the next season.
Sherman tried last season to downplay the impact a torn Achilles had on him during his first season with the 49ers. Sherman started 14 games for the 49ers and did not record an interception for the first time in his eight-year career. Sherman, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, ranks fourth among active players with 32 career interceptions.
Now, as the 49ers are in the third week of the team’s offseason conditioning program, Sherman feels free to admit the difficulty he experienced as he returned from the Achilles injury last year.
“I’m much healthier. I was kind of out there on one leg,” Sherman, 31, told Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee this week.
Sherman sustained a torn right Achilles on Nov. 9, 2017, while playing for the Seattle Seahawks. After the Seahawks released him, Sherman signed with the 49ers in March and started 14 games last season after his entire offseason was devoted to rehab.
Sherman’s physical condition did not prove to be a detriment to the 49ers. He was rarely tested as the team’s starting left cornerback. Quarterbacks, instead, chose to go after the 49ers’ right side, where Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward, Greg Mabin and Tarvarius Moore started games.
The 49ers set a dubious record with two interceptions – an all-time NFL single-season worst. Yet, the only notable moves the 49ers made to the defensive backfield this offseason were to re-sign free safety Jimmie Ward and sign cornerback Jason Verrett. Ward and Verrett have battled injury issues in their careers. Both signed one-year contracts. The 49ers invested a sixth-round draft pick in Virginia cornerback Tim Harris.
"I'm 100 percent good with (the defensive backfield). I don't think it'll be an issue," Sherman told the Bee. "The secondary wasn't the issue last year. We'd lose games by a touchdown down the stretch, the last second. It's not like, 'Oh man, the secondary was just getting killed the whole game and that's why we lost.' It was just guys' immaturity, mistakes, just not executing. Not knowing how to finish, not having finishers."
The 49ers took the offseason approach that the best way to improve the production in the secondary is to focus on a better pass rush. The 49ers acquired edge rusher Dee Ford in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs and used the No. 2 overall pick on Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.