GREEN BAY, Wis. – Seven days prior to a breakout game in the NFC Wild Card playoffs,
Cox, however, was welcomed back to the 49ers with open arms and he returend the hospitality by playing a big role in the team’s 23-20 road playoff win over the Green Bay Packers.
The third-year cornerback had a rocky experience in 2013 to say the least. Cox was released by the 49ers in November to make room on the 53-man roster for free agent addition
Cox was then signed twice and released twice by the Seattle Seahawks at different points in December.
It's safe to say 2014 is looking much brighter for Cox.
When nine-year veteran
On Sunday, Cox was put into action against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers.
Rogers, San Francisco’s starting cornerback and slot nickel corner, was inactive for the first time in 53 games with the 49ers. Cox took his spot as the team’s No. 3 cornerback where he had a key role in helping San Francisco hold Rodgers and Green Bay’s passing attack to 177 yards.
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“We beat the weather. We beat the Packers. That was our goal.”
Cox even lined up on the team’s special teams kick-off coverage unit. When it was all said and done, the physical cornerback played on nearly every defensive snap, in addition to his special teams duties.
“Personally, it felt good to be back,” Cox said. “I knew it was going to be a tough one for me. But we did our job and that’s all that matters.”
The third-year cornerback also knew that special teams snaps were going to be part of his responsibilities on Sunday. Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely let him know as much.
“When I came back everyone was happy to see me and Coach Seely already told me he was going to have me out there, even on returns if he really needed me,” Cox said.
The greatest share of his role was defending Green Bay’s talented receivers. In the slot, Cox often matched up with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Both wideouts were held in check. Cobb made two catches for 52 yards, Nelson had seven catches for 62 yards and one touchdown.
“It didn’t make it easy dealing with Cobb and Jordy, they’re both good receivers,” Cox said. “At the same time, we were dealing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, so I think I did a good job.”
Jim Harbaugh was pleased with the effort of Cox, a familiar face and trusted agent.
While Wright was healthy enough to play, the 49ers coaches decided to play Cox over Wright.
When asked about his reasoning for it, Harbaugh evaded the question.
“I don’t want to talk about nickel corner controversies,” he said with a laugh.