Nnamdi Asomugha was supposed to revitalize his career in San Francisco. After two unforgettable seasons in Philadelphia, he was released. Asomugha signed a one-year non-guaranteed contract with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. Coming into the season, Asomugha was the number three cornerback behind Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown and now because of injury, he may not see much more time.
Asomugha suffered a knee injury against the Colts in Week 3 and has not seen the field since the injury. Instead the 49ers have looked to Tramaine Brock to be their nickel and third cornerback and he has responded by playing well with Asomugha out. His coming out party may have been Sunday night against the Houston Texans where he had two interceptions in a 34-3 win.
Brock returned a Matt Schaub pass 18 yards for a touchdown to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead on the third play of the game. In the second quarter, he picked off Schaub again and almost took it to the house for a second time. If he would have caught it cleanly, he would have scored again. Instead his interception led to another 49ers touchdown drive and 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
Brock is younger and quicker than Asomugha and looks like he has Coach Harbaugh’s approval. This week, Harbaugh has said that when Asomugha is healthy enough to rejoin the 49ers, Brock will remain the number three cornerback. Brock has been in the same situation as Asomugha, losing his job to injury.
In 2011, Brock lost his job to Chris Culliver after suffering a hand injury. In the first two games of that season, he had two interceptions before suffering the injury. Culliver has kept his spot as the third cornerback until he tore his ACL in training camp.
Since Asomugha injured his knee, the 49ers defense has returned to its old form. The 49ers have forced nine turnovers in the last two games and Brock has been a key piece to this defense. I’m not saying the 49ers were not causing turnovers because Asomugha was playing but Brock is a much better tackler and better in coverage.
Losing Asomugha may have been the best thing for the 49ers because they are finally playing like everyone thought they would play. Look for the 49ers to take off with Brock as the third cornerback.
Do you think Asomugha’s days are numbered with the 49ers?
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