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Starting at May. 12, 7 PM PDT
The #49ers have a long list essentially of potential “comeback Players” of the year.
Injuries defined the 49ers’ 2018 season, and now they’ll need to reverse that trend to compete for a playoff spot in 2019. That will mean several injured players bouncing back and contributing in a big way. Perhaps the biggest illustration of that is Pro Football Focus naming two 49ers among their top 10 candidates to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. They listed both quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and newly-signed cornerback Jason Verrett as potential winners.
Garoppolo earning the award would be a good sign for San Francisco, and would likely mean the 49ers made their way to the postseason. He hasn’t played a full season yet under Kyle Shanahan’s system, but his time in San Francisco has been successful when he’s been on the field. His ACL tear in Week 3 last season effectively derailed the season for the playoff-hopeful 49ers.
Also it’s probably safe to say the extremely bad timing of Jerick McKinnon’s injury at the very start of the regular season had a dramatically bad effect on the offense considering what his role was to be. Mckinnon will duel with Tevin Coleman for the starting position if for no other reason than Coleman’s prior experience with Shanahan from Atlanta. McKinnon chalks up the right stats and he is definitely a possibility for CPOY
Verrett is an interesting case because he only has one full NFL season under his belt. Since being drafted in 2014, he played six games as a rookie, 14 in Year 2, four in Year 3 and one in Year 4. A preseason Achilles tear knocked him out of his fifth season.
The 49ers don’t have a lot of experience at cornerback aside from Richard Sherman, so Verrett could certainly win a starting job. If he does, and puts together a Pro Bowl year to help revitalize the secondary, it’s completely reasonable to imagine him winning Comeback Player of the Year. In fact Verrett is good enough that if he can just stay on his feet for the entire season he will maybe easily win the award, he’s that good.
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