Jason Verrett

Kentavius Street, Jason Verrett only 49ers options to return from IR

Kentavius Street, Jason Verrett only 49ers options to return from IR

SANTA CLARA -- The list of 49ers on injured reserve who remain as possibilities to return to play later this season seemingly has been reduced to the maximum number of two.

Coach Kyle Shanahan essentially has ruled out the possibilities of wide receivers Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd from playing this season.

That leaves defensive lineman Kentavius Street and cornerback Jason Verrett as the only players who have chances of being activated off injured reserve before the end of the season.

“Those are guys that are working hard to get back and if we definitely had an injury at a certain spot, we’d probably make that decision sooner than later,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan said the 49ers intend to get both players on the practice field to give them chances to earn their way back onto the team’s 53-man roster.

Each NFL team is allowed to bring two players off injured reserve to return to action in the same season. Once a player begins practice, the club has a maximum of three weeks to activate the player to the 53-man roster, keep the player on injured reserve for the entirety of the season or release the player.

Taylor sustained a Jones fracture in his right foot in the second week of training camp and underwent surgery before the team’s first preseason game. He experienced complications from the surgery that have prevented him from being available at any point this season.

Hurd, a third-round draft pick from Baylor, had an impressive preseason debut against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 10 with two touchdown receptions but he has not appeared in a game since due to a stress reaction in his back. Shanahan suggested on Monday that Hurd will remain on injured reserve for the remainder of his rookie season.

“I don’t know if we’ve 100-percent ended that, but it has not been looking good, so that’s kind of out of sight, out of mind for me right now,” Shanahan said. “We might have more of an answer on that later in this week to just finalize that.”

When asked if that meant that Hurd would remain on injured reserve, Shanahan answered, “Yes, ultimately, that he won’t return. But, yeah, I know it’s been week-to-week here. We’ve been thinking about it, and I’m not thinking about it right now.”

Street and Verrett are eligible to begin practice, but the 49ers might wait until Week 14, Shanahan said.

Street sat out his entire rookie season after sustaining a torn ACL in a pre-draft workout. He underwent a follow-up arthroscopic knee surgery in late-August that landed him on injured reserve. The 49ers selected Street in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of North Carolina State.

The 49ers placed Verrett, 28, on injured reserve on Oct. 3 with a knee condition after he appeared in one game this season. The 49ers signed Verrett to a one-year contract in the offseason.

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Shanahan said Street and Verrett remain as options to return to the active roster this season if the 49ers need another defensive lineman or cornerback due to injuries later in the season.

“They’re getting healthy,” Shanahan said. “I think both of them are going to have an opportunity to do that. It’s not something we’d do right now, but definitely could be an option if we have any injuries at either of those positions.”

49ers sign Jordan Matthews with Jalen Hurd, Jason Verrett on IR

49ers sign Jordan Matthews with Jalen Hurd, Jason Verrett on IR

The 49ers on Thursday morning placed rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd and cornerback Jason Verrett on injured reserve.

It is not known whether either player has a chance to return this season. Under NFL rules, players who go on injured reserve during the season must sit out eight games before they are eligible to return to action.

Wide receiver Trent Taylor, defensive lineman Kentavius Street, Hurd and Verrett are eligible to return this season, but the team can activate no more than two players off IR during the course of the season.

The 49ers re-signed veteran cornerback Dontae Johnson, the team announced. The club also announced they re-signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews. NFL Network was the first to report the plan to re-sign Matthews.

Johnson and Matthews were among the 49ers’ final cuts before the start of the regular season.

Hurd has not practiced or played since the 49ers’ first preseason game, Aug. 10, against the Dallas Cowboys. The third-round draft pick from Baylor caught two touchdown passes in his preseason debut. But he has missed nearly two months with a stress reaction in his back.

Verrett missed all of training camp after sustaining an ankle sprain on Aug. 7 in practice. He was inactive for the first two games of the season and entered in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Ahkello Witherspoon sustained a foot sprain that is expected to keep him out more than a month.

Verrett was called for a 32-yard pass interference penalty, then surrendered a 39-yard touchdown to Steelers wide receiver Dionte Johnson. Second-year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley replaced Verrett and is in line to start Monday night when the 49ers return to action against the Cleveland Browns at Levi’s Stadium.

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Verrett, 28, has appeared in just 26 NFL games since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 2014. The past four seasons, he has appeared in just six games. He missed all of last season with a torn Achilles. The 49ers signed Verrett to a one-year contract with $1.1 million in base salary. Under the terms of his deal, he receives $93,750 for every regular-season game he plays.

Johnson takes Verrett’s spot on the roster. He returns to the 49ers after entering the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick. In four seasons with the 49ers, he appeared in 63 games with 22 starts. After leaving the 49ers, he spent time with Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City.

Ahkello Witherspoon injury could prompt 49ers to consider trade market

Ahkello Witherspoon injury could prompt 49ers to consider trade market

Even before 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon sprained his foot, there was no shortage of calls for San Francisco to make a play for one of the high-profile defensive backs around the league that had recently demanded a trade. 

Now that Witherspoon will miss at least the next month recovering from that injury, don't expect that noise to drown out anytime soon. 

Witherspoon's absence will be a major blow to the 49ers' defense, as the third-year cornerback has rebounded from a disappointing sophomore campaign and gotten off to a strong start this season. Through three games, he's tallied five passes defended and his first career interception returned for a touchdown. With the 49ers now entering their Week 4 bye, Witherspoon is expected to miss San Francisco's next three games at least. 

In the meantime, Emmanuel Moseley will get the first crack at filling Witherspoon's void, although he'll have to fend off competition from Jason Verrett and others on the depth chart. Verrett was the first to replace Witherspoon after his injury occurred, but he looked very rusty and was immediately exposed by the Steelers. 

Without an obvious internal solution on the roster, would San Francisco look to an external one? 

"We always look at the trade market, but it’s got to make sense,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said at his Monday press conference. “How much does it help the team right now? And how much does it help the organization going forward? You always think about right now, but you also have to think about years in advance, too. How it affects the salary cap and draft picks, things like that." 

Right now, the 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Right now, they have a legitimate opportunity to compete for a playoff spot, and that should be factored in. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick is no longer a possibility after he was acquired by the Steelers last week, but Jalen Ramsey reportedly still wants out of Jacksonville, and he arguably is the ideal cornerback to employ in San Francisco's defensive system. That said, the Jaguars are asking for a massive haul in return -- as they should -- and the 49ers reportedly aren't interested in paying the price not just to acquire him, but to then re-sign him to a long-term contract as well. 

Of course, their disinterest was reported prior to seeing Witherspoon go down for at least the next month. 

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After the bye week, San Francisco will play its next two games against the Browns and Rams. That's a hefty dose of Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp before Witherspoon comes even close to making it back on the field. 

If the 49ers' pass defense struggles significantly coming out of the bye, perhaps their attitude towards a high-profile trade will change.