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49ers devastated after Jason Verrett sustains torn Achilles in practice

49ers devastated after Jason Verrett sustains torn Achilles in practice

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers signed veteran cornerback Jason Verrett to four consecutive one-year contracts because of his promising skill and the determination he showed to get back on the field from injuries.

The organization was devastated on Wednesday when Verrett went down during practice with a torn left Achilles.

“We all feel for JV,” 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said. “We know the work he put in to come back. We’re all saddened by what happened to him.

“JV’s an unbelievable person, an unbelievable leader. He’s been a tremendous leader to these young guys and giving us everything he’s had. So it’s unfortunate.”

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel said after Verrett went down with his injury that coach Kyle Shanahan gathered the team around to see if they wanted to continue practice. After the team gathered for a prayer, practice resumed.

“It took the life out of everybody at practice,” Samuel said.

When asked about what it was like after the injury, 49ers tight end George Kittle answered, “Brutal. Devastating. Heartbreaking. It just sucked.”

It was the latest in a long line of serious injuries to plague Verrett since entering the NFL in 2014 as a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers.

Just like that, Verrett’s season was over before he even suited up for a game.

At 31, it remains to be seen if Verrett can—or is even willing—to attempt yet another comeback.

He attempted to return from a torn ACL in his right knee, which he sustained late in the 49ers’ 2021 season-opener against the Detroit Lions.

Fourteen months ago, Verrett was clearly heartbroken after the torn ACL. General manager John Lynch comforted him as he entered the team’s locker room at Ford Field after riding a cart up the tunnel.

Previously, Verrett sustained a torn Achilles in 2016 and a torn ACL in 2018.

Only twice in Verrett’s career did he start more than four games in a season. He was a Pro-Bowl selection in 2015, just his second season in the NFL.

The 49ers signed him in 2019, but he appeared in just one game before going on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. He was clearly not ready to play. After that, the 49ers made every attempt to allow him proper recovery time.

San Francisco re-signed him in 2020, and he looked as good as ever. Verrett looked like a shutdown corner while starting 13 games.

Again, the 49ers decided to give Verrett another chance to get healthy and contribute this season. He opened the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list and was activated to the 53-man roster before the Week 8 game at the Los Angeles Rams.

Verrett was inactive for that game, but coach Kyle Shanahan said the team gave serious discussion about whether to have Verrett in uniform against the Rams.

“I thought he was real close, we considered him two weeks ago,” Shanahan said just prior to Wednesday’s practice. “I expect him to be further along this week. I’ll see him out there in about an hour, but hopefully he’s closer.”

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Lynch in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area last week referred to Verrett as a “wild card” because of the potential impact he could have on the 49ers’ season down the stretch.

Starter Emmanuel Moseley went down with a season-ending torn ACL in Week 6 at Carolina. Moseley’s injury opened the door for Verrett to replace second-year player Deommodore Lenoir in the starting lineup at some point in the second half of the season.

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