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Eric Wright Offers Versatility to 49ers Secondary

Posted Dec 31, 2013

If Carlos Rogers isn't active on gameday Sunday in Green Bay, Wright would likely fill his spot covering Packers slot receivers.

Eric Wright is used to filling in.

When fellow 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown went down with a rib contusion in Week 11 at New Orleans, Wright stepped in and acquitted himself well in his San Francisco debut.

He may be called upon once again.

With Carlos Rogers' status somewhat in question for Sunday's Wild Card playoff opener in Green Bay, Jim Harbaugh said he would call upon Wright, if necessary, to replace Rogers as the team's inside cornerback.

Rogers, who underwent an MRI on Monday according to Harbaugh, told reporters in passing on Tuesday this his injury wasn't "that bad." He refuted a report that he had already been ruled out of playing on Sunday.

"Something was bothering him physically," Harbaugh said after the 49ers Week 17 in Arizona, in which Rogers sat out the final defensive series.

If the cornerback corps leader isn't active on gameday in Green Bay, Wright would be a seamless addition to the lineup.

"I think he's done good," Harbaugh said of Wright, who has played seven straight games since coming off of the Non-Football Injury List.

The seven-year pro said after Tuesday's practice that he started covering opposing teams' slot receivers during his third NFL season, with the Cleveland Browns.

"I have the luxury of being able to play all types of positions on this 'D,' whether it's the left corner spot or the right corner spot or the nickel spot or the dime spot or the dollar spot," Wright said. "I have played pretty much all the defensive backs positions other than safety.

"That's allowed me to grow a lot faster mentally as well, knowing everybody's responsibility and being able to back up or cover for whoever goes down."

Earlier in his career, Wright said, he would play outside on early downs then shift to the inside as the opposition began employing three- and four-wide receiver sets.

Brown, who's now healthy himiself, could replace Rogers on the outside, while Wright could take over the inside duties. Tramaine Brock is expected to hold onto the other starting cornerback spot.

If the Packers utilize their bevy of pass-catchers to success on Sunday, expect the now-healthy Randall Cobb to see Wright across from him on the line of scrimmage. Cobb, who rehabbed a fracture in his leg, often lines up in the slot.

Cobb caught two passes for touchdowns and 55 yards overall in his first game back, the Packers playoff-clinching victory in Week 17 against the visiting Chicago Bears.

"He looked like the player that we all know him to be," said Wright, who recorded his lone interception of the year on the last play in Week 14. "He's really explosive, quick guy and can get in and out of his breaks and has good down-hill speed... Especially with him coming back, they're looking to get the ball in his hands because he has that type of ability."


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