Jordan Matthews‘ quest to change positions took a major hit this week. The 49ers wideout-turned-tight end tore his ACL during practice on Monday, reports Can Inman of the San Jose Mercury (on Twitter). The veteran will be placed on injured reserve.
Matthews announced his plan to switch to tight end last offseason, and he added 30 pounds in preparation for his new role. The 49ers decided to ease the former receiver into his new position, so Matthews ended up spending the majority of the 2021 campaign on San Francisco’s practice squad. The 30-year-old apparently made good use of his time, with Inman noting that the veteran had “made strides” in converting to the tight end position over the past year. Inman also described Matthews as a “strong contender” to make the 53-man roster. Now, the player will have to wait another year to prove he can stick at the position.
The former second-round pick made a name for himself as a receiver on the Eagles. Between the 2014 and 2016 seasons, Matthews averaged 891 receiving yards and more than six touchdowns per season. Since then, he’s bounced around the league a bit, mostly alternating stints with the Eagles and 49ers. He’s also spent time with the Bills and Patriots.
Fortunately for the 49ers, they have plenty of options behind starting tight end George Kittle. Ross Dwelley has seen time in 60 games over the past four seasons, and the team is also rostering the likes of Charlie Woerner, Tyler Kroft, Troy Fumagalli, and Tanner Hudson.