Editor's note: The video above is from Eric Wright's media availability on Oct. 15
HERTFORDSHIRE, England – It has been a steady progression for veteran cornerback Eric Wright since his signing with the 49ers on Aug. 8.
First, he spent approximately three weeks dealing with a personal matter before reporting to the organization.
Then, he spent the first six weeks of the regular season on the reserve/non-football illness list.
He was allowed to begin practicing last week with his teammates.
And, this week, he has started seeing some action with the 49ers’ defense in practice after working exclusively on the scout team during his first seven days of activity.
“He’s getting better and better,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday. “We put him in yesterday with some of the defensive stuff. This week, we put him in there with the defense, a few snaps here and there and he’s done well.”
Wright spent his first six seasons with Cleveland, Detroit and Tampa Bay. Now, he is beginning the process of learning the 49ers’ scheme so he can make a contribution on the field at some point.
“Obviously, he’s not comfortable in the system, yet,” Fangio said. “But he’s a guy who we think once he kind of grasps it, he’ll grow leaps and bounds quickly because he’s played in the league. He’s done a lot of the things we do. He just has to learn to work with our guys and our lingo.”
There is not a clear role for Wright when the 49ers decide to create space for him on the 53-man roster. That roster spot could come at the expense of veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who has been a healthy scratch for the past several games. Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are playing well as the starters, as the 49ers rank sixth in the NFL in pass defense. And third cornerback Tramaine Brock has three interceptions in four games in his new role.
But Fangio said there will eventually be a role for Wright, though he’s not quite sure of any specifics at this point.
“Sometimes, it’s attrition,” Fangio said. “Sometimes if he shows that he can play better than who we have playing, that’s the guy that we’ll play.”
Wright figures into the 49ers’ future with his ability to play cornerback or the slot position. Depending on how the rest of the season progresses, Wright is a strong candidate to re-sign with the 49ers and challenge for a starting job next season.