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Yes, we’re serious. Yes, there’s another injury concern. And yes, it involves another 49ers corner. This has truly been an opening week from hell in Santa Clara. According to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, Ahkello Witherspon, the obvious replacement for Richard Sherman—who was placed on injured reserve with a calf strain (which, again, is a partial tear of the muscle) and can return, at earliest in Week 5—is currently in concussion protocol.
Richard Sherman isn't the only #49ers cornerback injured Sunday. Per a league source, Ahkello Witherspoon suffered a concussion and is in the concussion protocol. He will take over for Sherman when cleared.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) September 16, 2020
Normally, 49ers players return from concussion protocol within a week, but they are nebulous, unpredictable injuries. Witherspoon could return to practice on Thursday and be ready for Sunday, or be out for more than a week. Jordan Reed, who, granted, has seven diagnosed concussions in his career, was forced to sit out the 2019 season due to his most recent one.
Witherspoon is the obvious replacement for Sherman and had a stellar camp. Though, so did Dante Pettis, who was invisible in Week 1. It remains to be seen if that will translate to the regular season, but Witherspoon certainly tracked the ball better and was more aggressive in attacking it at the catch point than he was during the second half of last year.
The only other outside corner depth on the roster is the still-injured Jason Verrett (hamstring) and two practice squad players in Dontae Johnson and Tim Harris Jr.