Look out, NFC West receivers. Richard Sherman is healthy once more.
Sherman, 31, just a few years ago was considered among the top cornerbacks – maybe even the best – in the NFL. From 2012 through 2016 with the Seattle Seahawks, Sherman was a three-time first-team All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler as the leading man of the team’s stellar defense.
But an Achilles’ tendon injury in 2017 knocked him out for half of his final season in Seattle and he still didn’t feel 100 percent in 2018, his first year with the 49ers.
Though Sherman started 14 games with San Francisco – and graded well by certain metrics – he didn’t have quite the impact he’d had in his prime with the Seahawks.
Now, however, with added time since his 2017 surgery and the chance to condition himself to his standards since the end of last season, Sherman feels like his old self.
“It’s the first time in a few years I’ve been able to move and groove like I want to,” Sherman told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle this week at the team’s first week of organized team activities (OTAs). “I’m able to move and explode and just get to the spots I want to. It changes the whole dynamic for me.”
Sherman admitted to reporters that it took time to come back all the way from the injury. Mentally, he said, the Achilles’ problem lingered through last season, and the thought of injuring it again prevented him from doing certain things.
“You can never really move full speed when you have that kind of inhibition, because you’re always conscious of which foot you’re putting on the ground on certain cuts and the game is too fast,” he said.
Now, he says, he’s eager to see what he can do in 2019, especially paired with former Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett, who’s also coming back from injury.
OTAs will continue for another three weeks after this one.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Richard-Sherman-is-Fully-Fit-and-Ready-to-Play-510323051.html.