Lynch, Shanahan recall eerie silence following Verrett injury


49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan sits down with Greg Papa to share his emotions when seeing cornerback Jason Verrett injure his Achilles in practice on Wednesday.

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The 49ers were dealt another blow with the season-ending injury to veteran cornerback Jason Verrett. 

A torn Achilles suffered in 49ers practice on Wednesday ended the veteran corner's 2022 season before it even started as he was nearing a return to the field after recovering from a torn ACL sustained in Week 1 of the 2021 season. 

In speaking with 49ers broadcaster Greg Papa this week on the latest edition of "49ers Game Plan," coach Kyle Shanahan recalled the exact moment Verrett sustained the injury and how it was the worst that Shanahan has felt after watching one of his players go down. 

"There's been a lot of sad times on the field in just the 20 years I've been coaching," Shanahan said. "When people have a season-ending injury and the cart's gotta come and stuff it's always emotional. This was probably the worst one and I think it was mostly the respect level people had for JV, but also everyone knows what he's been through."

In seven seasons, the oft-injured Verrett has combined to play in just 40 career games. His injury history is serious and extensive, and his latest is yet another heartbreaking roadblock for a very talented player. 

Shanahan has seen Verrett rehab from multiple lower-leg injuries in the cornerback's three-plus seasons with San Francisco and knowing how much work he has put in behind the scenes makes his injury all the more devastating given how close he was to returning to the field. 

"The guy is a first-round draft pick, Pro-Bowl player early in his career," Shanahan added. "...To go from an ACL to an Achilles, to come here and for how long that took until he re-injured it, then to have one year healthy and to then have an ACL then have this whole year and a half to come back and how much work goes into that and just how patient and smart he's been with everything. Then when it's starting to get better -- he looked his best and even said it to me on a play right before it happened. Just his quickness and everything, he was getting there and he looked ready to play this week.

"It was Wednesday, we were going to decide after three days of practice and just all of a sudden out of nowhere his Achilles went. He's done it before but it was his other Achilles and his knees and now the one Achilles he hasn't done it goes. It was really hard to watch, because he knew right away.

"It took us a little bit to get over and he's got a tough journey to come back from it, but I can't say it enough that dude is a very impressive person and whether it's football or anything else, he's going to be very successful in life."

General manager John Lynch joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Mac" on Friday morning and discussed the eerie silence that consumed the field after Verrett went down and backed up Shanahan's evaluation of how good the veteran corner looked immediately before the injury.

"At the end of a play you just look down and he was laying there," Lynch said. "And the reaction on the field, I've never heard a football field so silent and I think it was just instantly everyone's mind knew it was just a twisted ankle or something because he was down and wasn't getting up. There was just a quietness, an eerie quiet to a football field that I've never heard. Everyone knows what he's been through and he was close to getting back.

"I do know, ironically, the two previous plays in practice was the best he's looked. I think the play before he was hurt he broke up a pass on the sideline where he just burst out of a break and the play before that he was in the backfield on a tackle-for-loss and it just looked like the quickness of Jason Verrett starting to show."

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Verrett was supposed to fill in for veteran corner Emmanuel Moseley who sustained a torn ACL earlier this season. Now without Moseley and Verrett, San Francisco is stretched thin at the position and will turn to second-year corners Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas to play opposite of Charvarius Ward. 

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