McCourty's injury means bigger role for rookie Verner

Posted Sept. 30, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

A forearm injury to second-year LCB Jason McCourty requiring surgery reportedly will put him out of action for several weeks and thrusts rookie Alterraun Verner into a bigger role. The prospect of starting a rookie at cornerback doesn't faze head coach Jeff Fisher, who said Verner would be "productive" and noted that he almost  had two interceptions vs. the Giants in Week Three. However, Verner, who pushed McCourty for the starting job in training camp, was also beaten deep by WR Mario Manningham on a play nullified by a penalty. Verner's lack of "elite acceleration and closing burst" was noted by PFW draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki in the 2010 Draft Preview. With RCB Cortland Finnegan well-regarded, teams could test Verner. The same could be said if second-year CB Ryan Mouton — who struggled as a rookie and is the only other healthy corner on the team — plays more.