Jalen Hurd

49ers Waive WR Jalen Hurd

The 49ers cut ties with Jalen Hurd on Thursday. The former third-round pick has run into extensive injury trouble and never made his regular-season debut with the team. The 49ers waived Hurd with an injury settlement.

Hurd, 25, generated frequent offseason hype, but the ex-Tennessee and Baylor contributor could not avoid injuries. He spent the full 2019 and ’20 seasons on IR, and the 49ers placed the wide receiver hopeful on IR to start this year as well.

San Francisco chose Hurd 67th overall in 2019, doing so after he’d compiled a unique college resume. Hurd saw time ahead of Alvin Kamara as a Volunteers running back, rushing for nearly 1,300 yards for the SEC squad in 2015. He scored 14 touchdowns that year. Hurd transferred to Baylor and played as a wide receiver in 2018, amassing almost 900 yards for the Bears that year. He played in at least 12 games in three of his four college campaigns but could not stay on the field in San Francisco.

A back injury cost Hurd his rookie season two years ago, and after he recovered, an ACL tear sidelined the 6-foot-3 target in 2020. More knee trouble kept Hurd out of action this season.

49ers Place WR Jalen Hurd On IR

SATURDAY: For a third straight year, Hurd will begin the season on the 49ers’ IR list. San Francisco is stashing the oft-injured wideout on IR, sidelining him for at least three games. While a return in Week 4 would be a bonus for Hurd, who has missed the first two seasons of his career, any IR placement qualifies as a bad sign for the Tennessee and Baylor alum at this point. The 49ers promoted cornerback Dontae Johnson to fill Hurd’s roster spot.

WEDNESDAY: It sounds like Jalen Hurd will miss the 49ers’ season opener. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the third-year wide receiver is a candidate for the injured reserve thanks to a lingering knee injury.

“We felt pretty good (coming) out of the Raiders game just with how he was able to play and get through it,” Shanahan said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “But it was hurting him three days later when we tried to practice again. And we gave him the weekend off and it hurt again Monday. And just coming in here today and just realizing that we have to reevaluate this and shut him down for a little bit.”

The 2019 third-round pick still hasn’t seen the field for a regular season game thanks to injuries. That included an ACL tear that ruined his 2020 campaign, and knee tendinitis limited him during the early parts of the 2021 preseason. He finally got into the 49ers preseason finale, playing 29 snaps.

If Hurd is destined for injured reserve, the 49ers would likely look to add another wideout to the active roster. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that practice squad veteran Travis Benjamin is “the top candidate” to take Hurd’s spot.

49ers Notes: Julio, Jones, Draft, Hurd

The 49ers were in the mix for Julio Jones, which would have reunited the All-Pro wide receiver with his former offensive coordinator. But Kyle Shanahan‘s team is not believed to have made a firm offer for the 10-year veteran, whom the Titans ended up acquiring. All four NFC West teams discussed Jones with the Falcons, and Shanahan — after losing out on Matthew Stafford when the Rams landed him — said he would have been more willing to part with higher-end assets if he believed the Rams were a true threat to land him.

That’s actually the most frustrating thing for me,” Shanahan said during his appearance on The Ringer’s Flying Coach podcast with Sean McVay and Peter Schrager (via RamsWire). “I always say, ‘Let’s do it the right way,’ which, there’s no right way or wrong way, but you don’t want to have to risk your future to compete in one year. And that’s the hardest thing about being in our division because I know how Sean rolls. That’s very similar to me. Julio would have helped everybody, but you know what it’s doing to your organization for that year and the years to come.

That’s a really risky thing, but man, if Sean’s getting him, I’m going to risk that. I know that’s how he thinks, that’s how we all think. You’ve got to compete with your division first.”

The Rams are frequently linked to big trades, having made a few since relocating, but the team’s Robert WoodsCooper KuppDeSean JacksonTutu Atwell wideout depth chart would have made Jones quite the expensive luxury. Here is more out of San Francisco:

  • Another for the “what if?” file: the 49ers did some thorough investigating on Mac Jones. Linked to the Alabama prospect up until draft day, the 49ers reached out to Jones’ high school quarterbacks coach — Kevin Fagan (not the ex-49ers D-lineman) — according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required). Jones and Lance became San Francisco’s final two candidates for their No. 3 overall pick, after the team traded two future first-round picks for the purposes of landing a QB at 3, but the team opted to go with the North Dakota State product.
  • The 49ers are eyeing a slot role for Jalen Hurd, if the former third-round pick can make it to the regular season — something the 2019 draftee has yet to do. As a bigger slot cog, at 230 pounds, Hurd sharing some tight end responsibilities in Shanahan’s scheme may well be on tap, according to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows and David Lombardi. Hurd and former seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings are candidates for this hybrid position. This would be a way for the 49ers not to carry four true tight ends. A former running back at Tennessee who later transferred to Baylor and played wide receiver, Hurd missed his entire rookie season with a back injury and suffered an ACL tear last summer. Jennings, a Hurd teammate at Tennessee before the latter’s transfer, also has yet to play an NFL snap.
  • Although Daniel Brunskill started all 16 games at right guard last season, second-round pick Aaron Banks is expected to take over as the Niners’ first-stringer there this season.

NFC West Notes: Sherman, Seahawks, Cards

One of Richard Sherman‘s potential paths appears to have closed, with the Raiders having reunited Casey Hayward with DC Gus Bradley. This narrows the All-Pro cornerback’s suitor total. The 49ers may still be in play, despite Sherman indicating in February he would not be back.

There’s always a chance it could end up working back in the Bay, that I head back that way,” Sherman said Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “That’s another place I’m really comfortable going. Obviously know the staff, know the team well. Just spent time there and would be ecstatic if something happened there.”

Sherman added that a deal that would bring him back to San Francisco is unlikely to commence until late in the summer or perhaps in-season. The 49ers may, however, still possess a need for a boundary corner. The team re-signed Emmanuel Moseley and injury-prone Jason Verrett and used third- and fifth-round picks on corners. But a proven starter like Sherman could still be necessary. Sherman has also spoken with the Saints and Seahawks. Sherman, 33, still lives in the city and said Wednesday a second Seahawks stint would appeal to him. Pete Carroll, however, said the addition of another veteran cornerback is not on the team’s front-burner at this point, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Despite Cardinals first-round pick Zaven Collins checking in at 270 pounds this offseason, the team is not planning to use him as a Chandler Jones complementary pass rusher. The second hybrid linebacker to join the Cards as a first-round pick in the past two years, Collins is ticketed for an inside linebacker role alongside 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons. GM Steve Keim fashions Collins as a middle linebacker, via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban. Simmons, whom the Cards deployed as more of a hybrid player, did not assimilate immediately as a rookie and ended up playing less than 35% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. But the Cards will use Collins, who did work as more of a chess piece at Tulsa, off the ball to start his career. The Cardinals have invested plenty at the off-ball ‘backer spots in recent years, having stationed Haason Reddick there upon drafting him in the 2017 first round and signing Jordan Hicks last year.
  • Normally high on tall corners for their outside spots, the Seahawks deviated from that philosophy last season by playing 5-foot-9 D.J. Reed on the boundary. They will follow suit with fourth-round pick Tre Brown, who checks in at 5-10. “We would love to have big corners and all that,” GM John Schneider said, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “… But you have to adjust to the times, too, and there is only a certain amount of players that you can pick from.”
  • Although the Seahawks drafted tackle Stone Forsythe in Round 6, Schneider said he attempted to make a trade that would allow the team to select him in the fourth, via Henderson. Forsythe, who played at Florida, was the only O-lineman the Seahawks chose. Of course, the team only ended up making three picks this year.
  • Former 49ers third-round pick Jalen Hurd has not played in a regular-season game, despite being a 2019 draftee. The once-promising wideout has seen back and knee injuries sidetrack his career. While Hurd should not be considered a lock to play for the 49ers, due to his run of injuries, GM John Lynch expects him to be ready to go come camp, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.

49ers Place WR Jalen Hurd On IR

Jalen Hurd will lose a second straight NFL season to injury. Following the young wide receiver’s ACL tear, the 49ers placed him on IR Thursday.

The 49ers drafted Hurd in the 2019 third round, and the Baylor and Tennessee alum has flashed when healthy. But he will exit 2020 having played in zero of 32 regular-season games to start his career. A stress reaction in his back cost Hurd his 2019 season.

The 6-foot-4, 227-pound prospect displayed considerable versatility in college, converting from running back to wide receiver. He played ahead of Alvin Kamara in Tennessee’s backfield in 2015, rushing for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns. Upon transferring to Baylor, Hurd moved to wide receiver. He caught 69 passes for 946 yards as a senior with the Bears.

Kyle Shanahan is holding out hope Deebo Samuel can return by Week 1, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (on Twitter), but the fourth-year 49ers HC did not previously sound optimistic on that front. Samuel sustained a foot fracture in June. The 49ers have signed Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson and Jaron Brown over the past week.

49ers, WR Jaron Brown Agree To Deal

Another veteran wideout is heading to San Francisco. After signing Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson, the 49ers agreed to terms with Jaron Brown, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

This will mark Brown’s third NFC West team. The 6-foot-3 target spent the first seven years of his career in Arizona (from 2013-17) and Seattle (2018-19). Brown, 30, worked out for the 49ers on Tuesday.

The 49ers’ receiving corps has encountered multiple setbacks, with a reported Jalen Hurd ACL tear following Deebo Samuel‘s offseason foot fracture. Still, the 49ers boast a crowded group. Brown, Austin and Nelson join the likes of first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and 2018 second-rounder Dante Pettis. How the 49ers determine roles for their as-of-now Samuel-less operation will be interesting as the season approaches.

Brown saw action as a Seahawks auxiliary weapon in 14 games last season, catching 16 passes for 220 yards. His best season came in 2017 with the Cards, when he hauled in 31 passes for 477 yards.

49ers Work Out Jaron Brown

The 49ers are bringing wide receiver Jaron Brown in for an audition, as NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. Brown could serve as additional depth in the wake of Jalen Hurd’s suspected ACL tear. 

[RELATED: 49ers To Sign Tavon Austin]

Hurd went down with a non-contact injury while practicing on Sunday. It’s yet another setback for the 2019 third-round pick, who missed his would-be rookie season with a back injury. The Niners, meanwhile, are looking thin at the position. Deebo Samuel will be out for a stretch with a Jones fracture in his foot and Travis Benjamin is out of the equation following his opt out.

The Niners added reinforcements by signing Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson last week, but they could still use some more bodies. Brown, who has spent seven seasons in the NFC West between the Seahawks and Cardinals, could stay in comfortable territory for an eighth year. In 2019, Brown caught 16 passes for 220 yards and two scores. His best season came in 2017, when he registered 31 catches for 477 yards and four touchdowns with Arizona.

NFC West Notes: Kendricks, Williams, 49ers

Mychal Kendricks‘ sentencing date keeps getting postponed, and the Seahawks keep reaping the rewards. Per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, Kendricks is now due to be sentenced for insider trading — which he pleaded guilty to in September 2018 — in February 2020 (Twitter link). The date has been pushed back five times now, and instead of losing Kendricks on November 21 (the most recent date), Seattle will have their starting weakside ‘backer for its playoff run.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • The Cardinals signed tight end Maxx Williams to a modest one-year, $805K pact this offseason, but they have been impressed enough with his performance — especially as a pass blocker — to sign him to an extension several days ago. And he will get a sizable raise, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the two-year pact, which keeps Williams in the desert through 2021, is worth $7MM (Twitter link).
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett and DL Kentavius Street are both getting healthier and are candidates to come off of IR at some point this season, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (citing head coach Kyle Shanahan) tweets. Both players have had difficult injury luck in their careers, so this is encouraging news, and San Francisco would surely love to have Verrett and Street as depth for the stretch run.
  • The news is not as good for 49ers rookie WR Jalen Hurd, as Shanahan says it’s unlikely Hurd will be ready to come off of IR this year (Twitter link via Maiocco).
  • The 49ers are also planning on being without DE Dee Ford for a couple of weeks, per Maiocco (via Twitter). Injuries have limited Ford during his first year in San Francisco, though he has managed to post 6.5 sacks. Ford is currently dealing with a hamstring injury.

Trent Taylor Not Expected To Return From IR

Trent Taylor no longer profiles as a player the 49ers plan to bring off IR. The third-year wide receiver underwent a second foot surgery, and Kyle Shanahan said (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, on Twitter) he does not expect him to play this season.

The 49ers placed Taylor on IR in September, and he had surgery for a Jones fracture then. Shanahan said complications from it resulted in a Taylor return likely being tabled until 2020. Taylor has since undergone another procedure. An infection delayed Taylor’s rehab, per Maiocco.

Both Taylor and rookie Jalen Hurd reside on IR, and Shanahan views the latter as a possibility to return. While Taylor would have been able to come back for the 49ers’ Week 13 game, Hurd cannot return until Week 14. Hurd suffered a stress reaction in his back; the third-round rookie can return to practice next week.

San Francisco added Hurd and Deebo Samuel to its receiver mix this offseason and has seen trade acquisition Emmanuel Sanders produce immediately. Sanders is a free agent at season’s end. Taylor would stand to be back in the 49ers’ picture next season, with the former fifth-round pick having caught 69 passes for 645 yards from 2017-18.

49ers To Re-Sign Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews will head back to San Francisco. The recently released wide receiver will re-sign with the team and take Jalen Hurd‘s roster spot, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The 49ers are placing Hurd on IR.

Hurd has been dealing with a back stress fracture, suffered in San Francisco’s first preseason game, and will now be out until at least December. He will join wideout Trent Taylor on the 49ers’ IR list. The 49ers used a third-round pick on Hurd this year, but he’s yet to debut.

Matthews signed with the 49ers early in the offseason but did not make the team. He participated in multiple workouts during the regular season’s audition circuit but did not sign anywhere.

The sixth-year wideout has not been able to re-establish his previously promising career track since being traded from Philadelphia to Buffalo in 2017 but stands to join former Bills teammate Marquise Goodwin, along with Dante Pettis and rookie Deebo Samuel, as notable 49ers receivers. A former second-round pick, Matthews is still just 27. He eclipsed 800 yards in a a season from 2014-16, doing so in both Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson‘s offenses.