SANTA CLARA – Two cornerbacks who spent their rookie seasons rehabbing injuries are back on the field and figure to compete this season for roles on the 53-man roster.
Keith Reaser, a fifth-round draft pick in 2014, spent the season on the non-football injury list after undergoing ACL surgery prior to last year's draft. Kenneth Acker, who had an impressive training camp as a rookie, was sidelined for the regular season after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot.
Now, Reaser and Acker are on the field during the 49ers’ offseason program. And although neither has played in a regular-season game, coach Jim Tomsula said Reaser and Acker do not look like rookies.
“I can tell that their bodies are different,” Tomsula said. “It’s not new to them. The whole approach, the nerves that you see with a young guy coming in, there’s none of that. So absolutely you can tell.”
Reaser made one of the better defensive plays in practice Friday when he worked across the middle of the field to get his hands on a Blaine Gabbert pass intended for Jerome Simpson.
Reaser said he feels like his speed and explosion have returned with a year of rehab. Reaser and Acker could insert themselves in the conversation in a competition that also includes Tramaine Brock, Shareece Wright, Chris Cook, Dontae Johnson and Marcus Cromartie.
“I think it’s wide-open competition out there,” Reaser said. “Some of the veterans have a jump on us, but I think it’s going to be a good competition in camp.”