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Clements Demoted, Injured Simultaneously

Nate Clements #22 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after an interception in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams during an NFL game on November 16, 2008 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

For all of the money that San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nate Clements is making, the word “demotion” doesn’t automatically come to mind. After all, he was signed to a huge, $80 million contract back in 2007, which usually demands that you are consistently good – something that he hasn’t exactly been as he has been burned on occasion in pas coverage.

The end result? Clements has been “demoted”, at least temporarily. But it gets worse for Clements as he is also going on the shelf as he suffered a broken scapula (shoulder blade) during San Francisco’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. How long he will be out of commission is speculative, but I would assume at least 2-3 weeks based on the nature of the injury.

In the meantime while Clements heals, Tarell Brown (the CB Clements was demoted for) will replace him in the lineup. Which seems to suit the team – especially head coach Mike Singletary – just fine. Using Brown instead of Clements seemed to work as he “held” the Colts’ speediest wide receiver Pierre Garcon to 4 catches for 53 yards.

I expect the so-called “demotion” of Clements to be temporary; however, depending on how well Brown does could very well change the minds of the 49ers’ coaching staff. The next few weeks should tell the tale.

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