SANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley will return to the starting lineup in the NFC Championship Game, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday morning.
Moseley will take over as the starter at right cornerback against the Green Bay Packers to replace Ahkello Witherspoon, who started the 49ers’ past six games. Moseley’s matchup against Packers star receiver Davante Adams figures to be one of the keys to Sunday’s game.
The 49ers and Packers meet at Levi’s Stadium at 3:40 p.m. PT with the winning team earning a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 2.
Moseley replaced Witherspoon in both of the 49ers’ past two games. When Witherspoon struggled, Moseley entered the game for the final drive of the 49ers’ Week 17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Moseley made a pass breakup in the end zone to help the 49ers preserve a 26-21 victory that clinched the NFC West title and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
Last week, Moseley took over after Witherspoon was beaten early in the game for a 41-yard touchdown from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs. It was the Vikings’ only touchdown in the 49ers’ 27-10 victory.
After being benched, Witherspoon approached 49ers special-teams coordinator Richard Hightower on the sideline and asked to assume all of Moseley’s responsibilities in the kicking game.
Witherspoon has started 30 of the 37 games in which he has appeared since the 49ers selected him in the third round of the 2017 draft.
Moseley started eight games at right cornerback this season when Witherspoon missed extended playing time due to a foot sprain. Moseley also started a game at left cornerback when Richard Sherman was out against the Atlanta Falcons with a hamstring injury.
Moseley is a second-year pro from Tennessee. The 49ers signed him in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He saw action in just one game as a rookie before sustaining a season-ending dislocated shoulder.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.