Besides fellow wide receiver Richie James Jr. suffering a broken wrist while training on Friday, sources told NFL.com’s Mike Garofolo that an unidentified 49ers player tested positive for COVID-19, and that it was a member of the offensive players who took to Nashville, Tennessee to train.
The group of players are as follows:
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo
- QB C.J. Beathard
- QB Nick Mullens
- QB Broc Rutter
- FB Kyle Juszczyk
- WR Brandon Aiyuk
- WR Kendrick Bourne
- WR Chris Finke
- WR Jalen Hurd
- WR Jauan Jennings
- WR Dante Pettis
- WR Shawn Poindexter
- WR Deebo Samuel
- WR Trent Taylor
- TE George Kittle
- TE Charlie Woerner
There’s no real leads or clues to who may have contracted COVID-19, and the organization had this statement in response to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reaching out for a statement.
“Federal and state privacy laws prohibit our organization from commenting on the personal health of our employees.”
Now, a trio of setbacks have the 49ers in a bit more hectic and worrisome situation than they were a couple weeks ago.
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Background Info on Nashville Training
Recently, offensive players decided to come together in Nashville in order to get players more reps and involved during an already disrupted offseason.
Before injuring his foot in Tennessee, Samuel was working in Houston, Texas with running back Jerick McKinnon, while tight end George Kittle had been staying in his house in Nashville, training on his own.
On the other side of the country, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kendrick Bourne and others were practicing at San Jose University’s football stadium, getting in reps not far from the 49ers’ HQ of Santa Clara, California.
Now, after the group has come together in just the past week, a positive test likely means that there others were exposed, as well as the fact that whoever contracted COVID-19 was exposed to it before the 16-person group practices began.
Richie James Jr. Breaks Wrist Separate From Group
One player who didn’t head to Tennessee was James Jr., who suffered a broken wrist and is reportedly expected to sit out two months according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Schultz.
To say that Friday has not been a great day for the 49ers organization would be false. To lose a No. 1 receiver in Samuel, then to follow up with another serious injury to James Jr., who has already battled injury issues in the past and needed a productive offseason to completely lock down a final roster spot, is an example of truly unfortunate timing.
However, as is the situation with Samuel’s injury, the 49ers are lucky to have a plethora of young, talented receivers like Jalen Hurd and Jauan Jennings. While they must now go get tested for COVID-19 and watch themselves in regards to the coronavirus, there are several guys on the roster that have the potential to match or better a player like James Jr.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and follow Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.