Late roster pickups Cox, Tukuafu step up

Harbaugh details changes to practice schedule

Late roster pickups Cox, Tukuafu step up
January 10, 2014, 12:15 pm

The 49ers signed Perrish Cox five days before he played a major role against the Packers. (USATSI)

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers already knew they had two starting-caliber defensive players with Tramaine Brock and Tarell Brown.

So it was not such a big deal to have Brock and Brown at the cornerback positions with veteran Carlos Rogers unavailable last week against the Green Bay Packers due to a hamstring strain.

[RELATED: Rogers not expected to play for 49ers]

But the unknown element was how Perrish Cox would fare as the nickel back after returning to the 49ers five days earlier. The 49ers released him on Nov. 12 to make room for veteran cornerback Eric Wright.

Cox got the nod to play over Wright, who struggled in practices last week. The 49ers coaching staff determined Cox was better prepared mentally and physically to perform in the pressure of the playoffs.

In fact, the 49ers have gotten major contributions from two players the club re-signed to play big roles late in the season. The 49ers signed fullback Will Tukuafu to replace injured Bruce Miller on Dec. 18. Tukuafu has become the primary fullback ahead of Anthony Dixon, who was Miller's backup for most of the season.

“As a team, as a coach, you thank those two men for accomplishing what they did,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said of Cox and Tukufau.

“Being ready, being prepared and then being good when it mattered. So I think it is quite an accomplishment and worth talking about, worth remarking about. In Perrish’s case, he had a very good week of preparation, got into the game, and really got on a roll and finished it nicely.”