Welcome back, Jason Verrett. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan broke the news on Friday that the 49ers are planning on adding Verrett, who was released from the Houston Texans’ practice squad this week, to their own practice squad.
The 49ers had Verrett, a 32-year-old veteran who has slogged through seven injury-wracked years, in for a workout this week, and intend sign him once the upcoming Week 11 matchup against Tampa Bay is behind them. Nothing is official yet, Shanahan was quick to add.
“We’ll work through that over this weekend and see how it ends up for next week,” Shanahan told reporters at his Friday press conference.
Shanahan also indicated that there is a personal motivation to see Verrett back in San Francisco, where he played for the 49ers from 2019-21, but was limited to just 15 games in three years because of a wave of misfortune with injuries.
“I think you guys know how I feel about J.V., so it’s amazing that he is even back and able to do that stuff. So, if we got a chance, we’d love to get him in here,” Shanahan said.
Jason Verrett Struggled With Injuries Playing for 49ers
It seems a lifetime ago, but back in 2015, Verrett was a Pro Bowl corner for San Diego (there used to be a team there), with three interceptions and 12 passes defended.
Then the injuries started. First it was his ACL, in 2016. Then it was another knee surgery in 2017. In 2018, it was a torn Achilles tendon suffered on the first day of training camp.
In 2019, he moved to the 49ers and suffered a severe ankle injury in the season opener. He played 13 games in 2020, but tore his ACL in the 2021 opener, and has not played since. He was set to make his debut in November of 2022, but again tore his Achilles tendon.
Verrett followed DeMeco Ryans, the former 49ers defensive coordinator, to Houston but could not earn a call-up to the 53-man roster. Now he will come to San Francisco in much the same situation.
Kyle Shanahan: ‘One of the Most Respected Guys We’ve Had’
Shanahan said the 49ers value Verrett beyond just the grit and determination he has shown to get back on the football field. The 49ers see him as a player who could help tutor the team’s younger defensive backs, which has been among the few weaknesses on the roster this season.
“(Jason Verrett) has been one of the most respected guys we’ve had in our building,” Shanahan said. “Just the way he carries himself, how talented he is and just look at his footwork and how he played with us, like guys always looked up to him in that way. I think he was a mentor to a lot of guys, but it was just the perseverance and how he carried himself that guys loved.”
Shanahan revealed that the 49ers held a workout for Verrett earlier in the season, and he is so well-liked, several players showed up to support him.
“I’ve never seen, when he did work out here, the first time about a month ago or whatever it was, we had about seven players just go out and watch it, which I’ve never seen that before,” Shanahan said. “So, it just shows how our team felt about him.”