49ers still believe in Jalen Hurd despite latest injury setback

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49ers, Lynch still believe in Hurd despite latest injury setback originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jalen Hurd's NFL career hit another snag this week when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said it was a possibility that the wide receiver could start the season on the injured reserve list due to a knee issue.

Hurd, who the 49ers drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has yet to make his NFL debut. The Baylor product had a stress fracture in his back that wiped out his rookie year and tore his ACL prior to the 2020 season. Hurd made the 53-man roster, but it appears his first NFL game will have to wait at least a few more weeks.

"Disappointed to be certain because it's been a long journey for Jalen," general manager John Lynch told KNBR's "Murph and Mac." "Year one was a stress fracture in his back that sidelined him for the year. Last year, right before the season, we had kind of been ramping him up, and bam, he goes and tears his ACL right before the year. So, that was disappointing.

"Now, we get him back, and he's had some bumps in the road, and as those things do, [his knee] flared up at the wrong time. It was during training camp. But then he came back and got healthy."

Despite this latest setback, Lynch and the 49ers still believe Hurd can be a productive player for them.

"He's such an intriguing player because he can do so many different things," Lynch continued. "And he's a physically-imposing type player, so he fits what we do really well. ACL [injuries] -- some go very smooth. And others, you have these little deals where you're going great, and then you run into a rough patch where the things get irritated. And unfortunately, it just happened for him at the wrong time, which was right after he played in that [preseason] Raiders game.

"And so we took a course of action where we're trying to quiet the thing down and allow him to ramp up again. But we do have a lot of belief. And I know people get frustrated, but I think we've seen having the long view, [like with cornerback] Jason Verrett, who had a litany of injuries, but we stuck with him, and it's beared real good fruit. We're seeing the dividends with Jason playing at a Pro Bowl—and some people might even say All-Pro-level at the end of last year.

"My hope is that he plays a lot of good football for this team."

RELATED: Lance making progress; Week 1 status uncertain

The 49ers will open their season Sunday when they face the Lions in Detroit. With Hurd potentially going on IR, the 49ers will look to Trent Sherfield and Mohamed Sanu to back up Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

Hurd isn't the only 49er dealing with an injury as the season approaches. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance still is recovering from a small fracture in a finger on his throwing hand, and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw both are dealing with ailments and are seen as iffy for the season-opener.

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