Shoulder injury forces Verrett to have season-ending surgery.

Santa Clara— Veteran cornerback Jason Verrett was expected to play a big role Sunday in the 49ers' regular-season finale and maybe in the playoffs.

He had a shoulder injury that required surgery, ending any hopes of making an impression on football's grandest stage. Kyle Shanahan said Verrett fell awkwardly on his shoulder while catching a ball in practice on Thursday.

“He was hoping not to get an MRI,” Shanahan said Friday. “He hurt after sleeping on it and coming in this morning. He underwent surgery when the MRI revealed a tear.”

Verrett will have rotator cuff surgery. He should recover in four to six months. “He practiced his butt off all week,” Shanahan said. We planned to play him often in this game. He did well here last month.” Verrett joined the 49ers' practice squad on Dec. 11 following a month with the Houston Texans.

The 49ers finish the season against the Rams on Sunday as the NFC's top seed. Verrett played one game off the practice squad this season. On Christmas night, he played five defensive snaps against the Ravens.

Ever since the Chargers drafted him in 2014, Verrett, 32, has only played 41 NFL games with 36 starts. His four seasons with the 49ers included three injured reserve stints.

After 13 good games for the 49ers in 2020, Verrett tore his ACL in the 2021 season opener against the Lions. He tried to return last season but tore his Achilles in November practice.

I told him I can't believe how amazing he looks after a hard road to recovery, Shanahan added. “I didn't think he could recover from his knees, Achilles, and everything. And he did.

He looked good in Houston. He looked terrific here. This week was ideal for him to play a lot and assess his position heading into the playoffs. He got a strange shoulder injury.”

Watch this space for further developments.