Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Jalen Hurd’s setback disappointing but 49ers still believe in him, says John Lynch

Sep 10, 2021 at 9:10 AM--

Jalen Hurd has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game. He spent his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve and is ailing again as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to kick off their 2021 season.

Hurd made the 53-player roster. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted on Wednesday that injured reserve is a possibility for the third-year receiver, allowing him the extra time needed to recover from his latest setback.

General manager John Lynch joined KNBR's Murph & Mac show this morning and was asked if he was disappointed by Hurd's latest setback.

"Disappointed to be certain because it's been a long journey for Jalen," Lynch responded. "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."

That doesn't mean that Lynch and the 49ers have lost faith in Hurd. They are intrigued by the potential of the versatile receiver, and want to do everything possible to see how he could impact the team. That much is obvious by the repeated chances given to the often-injured player.

"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."

Whether or not the continued faith in Hurd ever pays off is still to be determined. However, the general manager believes the receiver can eventually contribute.

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

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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