49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo raves over 'physical freak' Jalen Hurd

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Jimmy G raves about 49ers receiver Hurd: 'Physical freak' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers are getting healthy, and that could signify the return -- and regular-season debut -- of one highly anticipated wide receiver. 

Jalen Hurd, a 2019 third-round pick, has long been discussed as a potential weapon for the 49ers' offense. The third-year pro has yet to play in a regular season game for the team due to back-to-back season-ending injuries. 

Spotted off to the side at the teams' OTA practices earlier this week, Hurd is working his way back from a torn ACL after missing the entire 2019 season due to a back injury.

Jimmy Garoppolo on Wednesday told 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" he "sure [hopes]" Hurd is a big part of the 49ers' offense in 2021.

“Man, I sure hope so," the 49ers quarterback said. "Jay, he’s come a long way, he really has, in his route-running, just developing his body and becoming a pro. I mean the guy, he does it the right way. I’m dying to get him out there right now, I really am."

Hurd has shown plenty of promise out on the practice field before each of the previous two seasons. What many remember him by though, are the two touchdowns he scored in Week 1 of a 2019 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. 

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He's a versatile player and has many tools that coach Kyle Shanahan can utilize in his system. Garoppolo is hoping that Hurd has a chance to put those tools on display this season. 

"He’s such a physical freak with the things he can do in his route running, with the ball in his hands, it’s very impressive," Garoppolo added. "Hopefully he’ll get to put those on display, hopefully, we’ll get him out there as soon as possible.” 

It remains unclear just how soon Hurd will have to wait before suiting up for the 49ers, but in the meantime, the team anticipates he'll be ready for training camp

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