After writhing on the ground in pain near the 49ers sideline, Richard Sherman tried to hobble his way back onto the field, heavily favoring his right knee that had just been examined by San Francisco’s medical team.
While he was able to play through the rest of the heavyweight matchup against the AFC-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Sherman walked gingerly on his leg after the game, even struggling to climb atop the stage to get to the podium for his post-game interview, according to multiple reports.
According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, Sherman suffered a knee sprain and will be day-to-day for the remainder of the week. Just six days ahead of another monumental road game against the New Orleans Saints, Sherman has not yet been ruled out.
“He’s a guy that I would never rule out,” Shanahan said during a Monday conference call from Florida, where the team is practicing between the Baltimore loss and the game in New Orleans this Sunday. “I understand, though. I see him walking the same way you guys did, too. A normal person, I’d rule out because of the eye test but you can never rule those kind of guys out.”
Sherman was injured with 4:39 to play in the fourth quarter after a short run from Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Pulling up lame, Sherman hopped his way to San Francisco’s side of the field as doctors checked the range of motion in the joint.
Sitting out one play, Sherman limped back to the left side of the defensive formation, finishing the contest — a 20-17 49ers defeat.
“My knee kind of gave out on me,” Sherman said after the game. “Lot of pain and I tried to get off the field and not have us waste a timeout.”
Stepping in for the nine-year veteran on the single play he missed was second-year corner Emmanuel Moseley. Moseley had started in the previous eight games for the 49ers in place of Ahkello Witherspoon, who was out nursing a foot strain.
With Witherspoon now back, and the abundance of experience now under Moseley’s belt, Shanahan said he feels confident in starting Moseley in Sherman’s place in the event that Sherman is not healthy enough to play Sunday.
“It always helps with the more depth that you have,” Shanahan said. “Moseley has proven that this year. So we definitely feel better at that than we have in the past. But if Sherman is healthy enough to go, it’ll be hard for us not to put him out there.”
After yesterday’s game, Sherman did not appear to be concerned with his health. Despite the compromised knee, he expected to be good enough to play against the Saints — the final leg of a three-game gauntlet against teams that all had at least eight wins.
“I’ll be ready,” he said. “I’m an old man. Sometimes it takes a second. I may not practice every day this week but I’ll be ready to go Sunday.”
Shanahan listed seven other players on the 49ers injury report on Monday:
SS Jaquiski Tartt (rib fracture)
DL D.J. Jones (ankle)
DL Dee Ford (hamstring)
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
LT Joe Staley (finger)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
DL Julian Taylor (elbow ligament)
Taylor’s injury appears to be the most serious as Shanahan expects the second-year defensive lineman to be out “a couple of weeks.” Pettis has already been ruled out for Sunday and Tartt’s status will be a matter of pain tolerance, similar to what wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders experienced over the last four weeks with a rib cartilage injury.