SANTA CLARA, California – In a surprising turn of events, the San Francisco 49ers are putting cornerback Richard Sherman on reserve with a leg injury, a league source told ESPN on Wednesday.
Injury reserve landing requires Sherman to skip at least the next three weeks under the league’s regulated injury reserve rules. NFL Network first reported the move and that Sherman is dealing with a strain in his calf.
The first Sherman who could return would be for a week 5 game against the Miami Dolphins on October 11. San Francisco manager Kyle Shanahan is expected to address the media and Sherman’s situation at around 3:20 pm. ET Wednesday.
Sherman’s injury comes as a surprise after he played 78 out of 82 shots in the team’s defeat to Arizona on Sunday. The four shots Sherman missed were at the end of the game when Arizona knelt down to finish the time.
On Monday, Shanahan did not mention any injury problems on Sherman, who joins top receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) in the injured reserve.
The loss of Sherman puts the Niners in a precarious position at the cornerback, where veteran Jason Verrett is grappling with a hamstring injury.
As of Wednesday morning, the 49ers have only three other cornerbacks on the active roster: Emmanuel Moseley, Ahkello Witherspoon and K’Waun Williams.
Dontae Johnson, who played last week after being one of two training squad squads, thinks he’s a candidate again and could take Sherman’s place on the roster until his return.
Given Sherman’s history with Achilles injuries, the Niners seem to be playing cautiously with potential lower leg problems. Sherman suffered a right Achilles break in November 2017, underwent subsequent cleaning on his left Achilles, and then had stitches removed from his right Achilles after the 2018 season.
Sherman got back in shape last season when he was named All-Pro second team with 61 tackles, three interceptions and 11 defended passes.