WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – The San Francisco 49ers got the news they expected but didn’t want Monday afternoon when coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that cornerback Emmanuel Moseley suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
Moseley’s injury will require surgery and end his season, which isn’t a surprise to the Niners who feared that was the case after a 37-15 win against the Carolina Panthers. It’s no less disappointing for the Niners or Moseley as he was tracking towards a career-best season and had just posted a pair of pass breakups and his first career interception for a touchdown on Sunday.
That breakout season seemed to be coming at just the right time, too, with Moseley scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
“I know he knows how I feel,” Shanahan said. “I’ve told him that before the injury. I know I feel the same if not stronger. It was a real sad, unfortunate thing that happened to him, he was playing his [butt] off, too. He’s going to be very missed this year but I’m really, really hoping to have him back next year.”
The Niners got better, if more uncertain news on the other key trio of players who suffered injuries against Carolina. Defensive end Nick Bosa left that game with a groin strain and sat out the second half.
Shanahan indicated Bosa’s injury is more of a day-to-day proposition but made clear Bosa is dealing with some tightness.
“It’s bothering him today,” Shanahan said. “You always want to use caution, especially with Nick, on that type of stuff but I know if we practiced today, he couldn’t go. I’m hoping that he does better throughout this week but it wasn’t feeling great today .”
Free safety Jimmie Ward broke his left hand on the opening kickoff and after a brief attempt to play through it, also departed Sunday’s game without a return. Ward is slated for surgery on the hand on Tuesday.
When that’s finished, the Niners will evaluate whether Ward can play with a cast on his hand and return sooner than later.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Shanahan said. “There is a chance but that’s why we want to see how the surgery goes and figure out if he could do that after it.”
Kicker Robbie Gould is also considered day-to-day after he suffered a bruised left knee while trying to make a tackle on a kickoff return. Gould had some swelling in the knee on Monday, according to Shanahan, and the Niners will work out some kickers on Tuesday to provide insurance in case Gould is unable to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Replacing Moseley will be one of the first orders of business for the 49ers this week as they practice at the Greenbrier Resort before heading to Atlanta this weekend.
Ambry Thomas, Deommodore Lenoir and Samuel Womack III are among the options on the active roster with veteran Dontae Johnson also available to come up from the practice squad.
But the most appealing option might be veteran Jason Verrett, who is returning from the Physically Unable to Perform list. Verrett opened his practice window last week and although the team wants to make sure he’s back up to speed and in game shape before stepping back into a significant role, he’s the most accomplished in-house option available when healthy.
“He’s a big-time corner, so if Verrett can get these practice reps and get out there and get fully healed and get back into game shape and ready to go, he’ll end up being our guy,” Shanahan said.