John Lynch says Jalen Hurd has been cleared from back injury

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The 49ers picked up a pair of wide receivers in this year’s draft, but their list of wideouts making their professional debuts in 2020 may not be limited to first-rounder Brandon Aiyuk and seventh-rounder Jauan Jennings.

Jalen Hurd was a third-round pick last year and he caught two touchdowns in the team’s first preseason game, but a stress fracture in his back put him on the sideline for the rest of the year. Hurd has been rehabbing at the team’s facility and General Manager John Lynch said his health has improved enough that the team thinks he can get back on the field this season.

“He is cleared. We’re ramping him up. We are very optimistic,” Lynch said, via “I don’t want to be overly optimistic because last year we saw some progress and then we had some setbacks. . . . We love his skill set. We love his mindset. Now it’s time to put it all to work.”

Hurd played running back at Tennessee before moving to receiver after transferring to Baylor for his final season and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan mused about his ability to play tight end as well. If all remains well with his return to health, that versatility could provide a new wrinkle to the 49ers offense.

3 responses to “John Lynch says Jalen Hurd has been cleared from back injury

  1. Considering that he’s the only receiver of any real size on the 9ers’ roster, it would be good news for them if Hurd’s 100%. He was a pretty good runner at Tennessee, but had some strange dynamic with the coaches and his character that led to his position change and transfer. If Hurd is willing to play tight end, I wonder if he’d also take snaps in the backfield on certain plays. He did do that at Baylor as well as Tennessee, but I haven’t heard of any attempts at him doing so by his pro coaches.

    I am curious to see how Hurd does. He has great physical tools and obviously is a hard worker, and I think he’s evolved a lot since his days at Tennessee. Again, all of the other 9ers receivers are under 6′ (except for Kendrick Bourne, who is 6′), which is why I’m not surprised Shanahan wants Hurd to play some tight end. It could be that Shanahan puts him at TE simply because he avoids large receivers or just a coincidence. I admit I’m just as interested to see if that’s just coincidence as I am to see how Hurd does at the NFL level.

  2. Hurd is a perfect fit for a Shanahan offense. He’s versatile enough to play WR, TE, and can play in the backfield as a run/catch option.

    Be very intriguing to see how he is utilized now that his back is healed up.

  3. They still have Dante Pettis, assuming that he gets a chance to get out of Shanahan’s doghouse, and Trent Taylor. They are going to have to make some tough decisions because they probably don’t have enough roster spots to keep them all.

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