Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan: 49ers WR Jalen Hurd could play this weekend against the Raiders

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 26, 2021 at 6:45 PM--

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan went onto KNBR's Tolbert, Krueger, and Brooks show earlier today, making his second appearance within the last week.

While the quarterbacks were obviously the talk of the town, Shanahan provided some detail on two of the team's receivers fighting to make the 53-man roster: Jalen Hurd and Travis Benjamin.

Jalen Hurd, who has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game despite being drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, returned to practice this week and was a participant in team drills both Wednesday and Thursday, sparking optimism from Shanahan that the receiver could make an appearance this weekend against the Las Vegas Raiders in the team's third and final preseason game.

When asked what was expected of Hurd in the final outing before the regular season, Shanahan focused more on the health of the third-year player rather than a wow factor to solidify his spot on the team.

"It's not about showing us that he can make [the 53-man roster]. If Hurd's healthy and he's ready to go, there's a reason we drafted him. I mean, Hurd's going to be a hell of a player, but he's been battling some serious injuries these last two years and what's been great this week is he's been out there."

While it has been a small sample size of only two practices, Shanahan likes what he's seen from the receiver given the amount of reps he's played and even said that Hurd could get playing time on Sunday, should he remain healthy.

"We've had two really hard practices [and] he's made them two days in a row in as much reps as he's had since he's been here," Shanahan said. "We just finished our second one, [so] I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet, but he got through it, he looked good, and I hope he comes back tomorrow feeling good, and hopefully he gets some playing time here on Sunday if he feels right."

In addition to Hurd, Shanahan shed light on Benjamin, who has been in the spotlight over the past few weeks following strong training camp and preseason performances, as a player who could definitely add something new to the team.

The 49ers head coach acknowledged the speed that the team possessed and values Benjamin's ability as not only a speed threat, but a physical one as well.

"Speed is something that we value a lot and that's something that we had a little bit when we first started, but we were missing some of the more physical receivers. Now, we got a little more physical receivers and at times, we're missing some speed, so a guy like Travis [Benjamin], he could help us a lot at a certain level."

Shanahan also addressed that the team will likely carry only six receivers, but didn't give a confirmation on whether Benjamin could be one of them, although he's been happy with what he's seen so far.

Said Shanahan, "when you can blow the top off, whether they guard you or they don't, it opens up the whole field [and opens] up bigger windows. So, it's been good for Travis, seeing him make a couple plays in these last two games, and we'll see how this pans out [and if] he'll be one of our six [receivers on the 53-man roster]."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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