Kyle Shanahan on 49ers WR Jalen Hurd: “I know he’s one of our top six receivers”

Aug 27, 2021 at 2:08 PM--

Wide receiver Jalen Hurd has not been able to stay healthy during his NFL career. He has yet to play in a regular-season game, spending 2019 and 2020 on injured reserve. Hurd hasn't played in a preseason game this year. However, that may change on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Hurd has participated in practices this week, and the San Francisco 49ers hope to finally get a good look at the former third-round pick this weekend.

"We're excited about him," general manager John Lynch said this morning on KNBR. "I mean, we're holding on. He hasn't played in the first couple of years, but for good reason. He's had legitimate injuries. But he's been out there.

"We've had two really hard practices. And he's done a great job in them. And it would be a really good thing for our team if he could be out there. So we're pulling for him, and he's put in the work, and hopefully, he's there, because he makes us a better team, if he is."

RELATED 49ers' John Lynch not ready to give up on Jalen Hurd

Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after today's practice and was told about Lynch's comments. The head coach was asked if he needs to see Hurd play well against the Raiders to make a more informed decision on the receiver's roster fate.

"I've seen Jalen when he's gone," Shanahan responded. "I know he's one of our top six receivers, so that's not an issue. That's how Dee Ford was last year. That's how [Jaquiski] Tartt is. We know they're one of our top guys at those positions, but it's such a scary thing and hard decision for the 53. And we have other guys there after those guys who are good and who could make this team and really help us."

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

The 49ers much trim their roster down to 53 players by next Tuesday. That will mean cutting loose a lot of potential talent, and sometimes that can come back to bite you if you make the wrong decision. However, a player's availability has to be a factor too. After all, you can't contribute if you can't get onto the football field.

"But you've got to make sure guys are healthy enough to play through the year," Shanahan explained, "that they don't just get to Week 1 and only last a quarter-and-a-half, and then they've got another injury, and you're wishing you had another guy there, but he didn't make the 53 because of that.

"I mean, there's no right or wrong answer. That's just the challenge of it, and you try to get as much information as you can. Usually, if they can make it through a whole camp, they can make it through the season. But obviously, [players like Hurd] weren't in a situation where they could do that. That's the dilemma with going into camp hurt, and that's the stress of it for everybody; coaches, players, the 53-man roster. That's just part of it."

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