Niners Wideout Returns After Most Recent Bout With Injury

Donovan Olumba

Getty Donovan Olumba

The San Francisco 49ers know that wideout Jalen Hurd can be a real weapon in the Bay Area, assuming he can ever find his way onto the field.

The third-year wide receiver was back in action Wednesday, Aug. 11 after sticking to the sidelines the day before. It was not the first time Hurd missed practice early in Niners training camp, but San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan implied it could be one of the last if Hurd can’t get healthy, and stay that way, long enough to contribute.

“I know he’s battling back from a serious injury, and we know the potential he has and the upside and how much we think he can help us, but he’s got to show that,” Shanahan told media members Tuesday.

“And there’s not a lot of time left. But we want to be smart with him. I know some things were bothering him today, so we were smart with him,” Shanahan continued. “Hopefully, he can get in a groove where he has a chance to go out there and play some football and give himself a chance to make this team.”

Bubble Status May Have Pushed Hurd Back to Practice Field

Kyle shanahan

GettyHead coach Kyle Shanahan, of the San Francisco 49ers.

Hurd remains a member of the Niners roster for one simple reason — potential. However, rhetoric like that Shanahan uttered Tuesday has begun to surround the young wideout, as it appears the patience the coaching staff has shown for the six-foot, five-inch, 226-pound pass catcher is beginning to wear thin.

“He’s a smart guy, and he understands the plays and all that stuff,” wide receivers coach Wes Welker told Nick Wagoner, of ESPN, earlier this week. “But you can know it all you want. If you don’t practice, it’s just really hard to make our football team.”

Hurd is entering his third year in the NFL, though he has yet to see the field for even a single snap in a regular season game. He suffered a fractured vertebrate in the preseason his rookie year and missed the entire campaign.

The wideout then tore his ACL during a Niners training camp practice preceding the 2020 regular season, which he also missed in its entirety.

Hurd underwent another knee surgery earlier this year to address the same ACL. He has already missed several practices since camp opened in late July, including back-to-back sessions on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6 and Aug. 7.

Niners Also Dealing With Several Defensive Injuries Early in Camp

Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmy Ward

GettyStrong safety Jaquiski Tartt and free safety Jimmie Ward, of the San Francisco.

Hurd is far from the only Niners player dealing with health uncertainties this preseason. Safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Tony Jefferson each continue to struggle with nagging concerns.

A lingering toe injury he suffered last season has kept Tartt sidelined. He is currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Jefferson has an injured groin and an injured hamstring. Team officials have said there is no firm timeline for the return of either safety. San Francisco also lost another potential reserve in the defensive backfield, Tarvarius Moore, to an ACL tear.

To address those concerns, the Niners signed former Pro Bowler Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on Wednesday. Contract details were not immediately known but as banged up as San Francisco’s secondary is, it would not be a shock to see him getting regular season snaps as early as Week 1.

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