Burbridge was one of four receivers to catch a touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during red-zone one-on-one drills on Wednesday. He didn't get to contribute for the San Francisco 49ers in head coach Kyle Shanahan's first season with the team. The 2016 sixth-round pick has just seven receptions for 88 yards over his career, all of which came during his rookie season.

Burbridge, however, has been a special-teams standout. His versatility made him one of the 13 players from the previous regime who Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have kept around. A hamstring injury ended Burbridge's 2017 campaign before it could begin. The 49ers placed him on injured reserve before the start of the regular season.

Before last year's injury, Burbridge was earning his way onto the roster because of his special-teams contributions. This year, he may be showing enough to earn a spot among a crowded wide receiver group.

"With Burb, it started with special teams," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "When I came here, I interviewed a number of special teams coaches, and everyone spoke so highly of him. He was very well respected in the special teams world around the league, and when you do that, there's usually a place for you in this league.

"He was a little slower of a starter for us at receiver. It took him some time last year. I don't know how ready he was to help us on offense last year, but he had a great chance last year to make it on special teams. He ended up getting hurt. We had to IR him.

"After the year off, he's always been good at special teams, but he's really come around as a receiver. He's in this mix at receiver, not just special teams, and he's been really good in camp so far."



While Burbridge may be an unknown commodity at wide receiver, 49ers fans know exactly what the team has in Marquise Goodwin. The six-year veteran broke out last year in his first season with San Francisco. Goodwin figures to have a prominent role within the 49ers offense.

"Marquise, we brought him in here as a speed guy who could blow the top off, who we thought could do other stuff, and it didn't happen right away," Shanahan said. "It's a credit to him; it's a credit to (wide receivers/passing game coordinator) Mike LaFleur. They've really worked at it, and he does (work) every day.

"We gave 'Quise the day off today and everywhere you look he's in the background working on his feet, doing little things. It's slow motion and stuff, but that's how he's developed in his routes, and he's gotten a lot of confidence catching the ball.

"When you can beat man coverage like that on almost any route we give you, and he's catching it consistently, we're excited about his year and expect him to get a lot of opportunities. If he doesn't, it's because he's pulling coverage to him and he can give a lot of other guys opportunities."