The early injury bug continues to hit the San Francisco 49ers during 2022 training camp.
This time, the 49ers — already losing Maurice Hurst to torn biceps that’ll likely keep him away until December at the earliest — had their latest key loss revealed on Wednesday, August 3 on the offensive side of the football. And he’s a player who had “really made strides” and was becoming a contender to make the team’s final roster.
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Who’s Out for the Season
Per 49ers reporter Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, reserve tight end Jordan Matthews suffered a torn ACL.
“49ers tight end Jordan Matthews tore his ACL and is going on injured reserve,” Inman tweeted. “Happened on a route, non-contact early in Monday’s session.”
Inman added how the 6-foot-3, 215-pound veteran and former wide receiver was putting together a strong camp in Santa Clara in his conversion to a new position.
“Really made strides in past year converting from wide receiver and was strong contender to make 53-man roster this season at TE,” Inman said.
Mark Adams of 49ers Webzone reacted to the news involving Matthews.
“That stinks. He was playing well, too,” Adams tweeted.
David Lombardi of The Athletic called the news “brutal” and briefly detailed who remains in the TE room depth wise — including one other tight end currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
“Brutal for the 30-year old Jordan Matthews. Remaining 49ers’ TEs behind George Kittle: Charlie Woerner (currently on PUP), Ross Dwelley, Tanner Hudson (has been productive lately), Tyler Kroft and Troy Fumagalli,” Lombardi posted.
Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area was another who spotted Matthews in a different state: On crutches and leaving the SAP Performance Facility.
“Just saw 49ers TE Jordan Matthews on crutches with his left knee in a brace headed out of the team facility. Tough break for the converted WR who had been standing out at 49ers camp,” Chan said on Twitter.
Matthews Was Adjusting to New Spot
The 30-year-old Matthews came into the league as a second rounder taken by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The former Vanderbilt wideout would go on to play in three seasons with the Eagles. He broke out early on in the City of Brotherly Love: Catching 8 touchdowns in his rookie and second season, hauling in a career-best 85 passes for 997 yards in his second season and scoring 21 of his 22 career touchdowns as an Eagle according to Pro Football Reference. Matthews, however, hasn’t caught past 25 passes in a single season since 2016, when he hauled in 73 grabs.
His first stint with the 49ers was a sign and release experience. He first signed a one-year deal with the team on March 14, 2019. He was not among the players who made the team’s final 53-man roster after the 2019 preseason wrapped up. The 49ers would resign him on October 3, 2019, but was released 23 days later.
After a brief return to the Eagles, Matthews found his way back to the 49ers by joining their practice squad. He was elevated to the team’s active roster for their weeks 16 and 17 games. His practice squad contract would expire after the 2020 season.
Then, Matthews decided to make a change by aiming to convert to tight end, telling ESPN NFL Nation reporter Turron Davenport about the transition.
NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Matt Maiocco wrote on Wednesday how “Matthews got off to a good start in training camp and appeared to have a legitimate chance to win a roster spot as one of the team’s backups behind Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle” before the ACL tear.
And before the injury, Lombardi mentioned how Matthews delivered one of the biggest plays of day one of 49ers camp:
He had followed up with a 23-yard grab two practice days later:
But now, Matthews is anticipated to be out for a significant amount of weeks per Dr. Nirav Pandya, who also serves as an injury analyst for 95.7 The Game FM in the Bay Area.