49ers Add Former NFC Champion WR to Practice Squad: Report


Getty Jimmy Garoppolo attempts a pass during the 49ers' road win at Jacksonville on Sunday, November 21.

The San Francisco 49ers decided to add some length to the wide receiver position on Tuesday, November 23 — to the practice squad.

Devin Funchess was added to the 49ers’ roster, first reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:

David Lombardi of The Athletic, who covers the 49ers, acknowledged the size aspect Funchess brings to the Bay.

For the 49ers, the franchise adds a 6-foot-4 wideout to the roster. But for Funchess, this is now the former second rounder’s fourth NFL stop in an NFL career that began in 2015 and included one Super Bowl appearance.

Funchess Lost 2016 Super Bowl his Rookie Year

After getting selected at No. 41 overall by the Carolina Panthers out of Michigan, Funchess immediately got inserted into the Panthers’ offense following the devastating ACL tear of WR1 Kelvin Benjamin.

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Funchess went on to catch 31 passes for 473 yards and scored 5 touchdowns that season — as Carolina breezed through the NFC with a 17-1 record until the 2016 Super Bowl.

And the venue where Funchess and the Panthers lost? At his newest NFL home Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Funchess was held to two catches for 40 yards that evening in the loss to the eventual champion Denver Broncos. Also on the Panther roster that night: 49ers starting cornerback Josh Norman.

Injuries Have Limited Funchess

The 27-year-old Funchess has battled injuries since winning the NFC title that season. In December of 2016, the Panthers placed him on injured reserve due to a knee injury.

Funchess played four seasons total with the Panthers before signing a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts in March 2019. However, his time in Indy was shortened due to a broken collarbone he suffered, placing him on IR on September 10, 2019. Funchess only caught three passes for 32 yards in his lone season as a Colt.

In April of 2020, Funchess returned to the Northern U.S by signing with the Green Bay Packers. The contract was good for one-year and worth up to $2.5 million, per Pelissero.

However, due to the threat of coronavirus, Funchess became among more than 60 NFL players who chose not to play in the 2020 season. He was the only Packer to represent that list.

The next year, Funchess opted to take a pay cut with the Packers via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

But before the season began, Funchess returned to the IR list — this time with a hamstring injury he sustained on August 25. Funchess later was released.

While San Francisco is his fourth stop in six years, and as he soon reunites with Norman, Funchess will become the third Michigan Wolverine representative on the 49er roster joining defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (his former Michigan teammate in the 2013 and 2014 seasons) and rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas.

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