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Baalke expects DeAndre Smelter to play in preseason

Aug 17, 2016 at 1:30 PM--


San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke spoke about WR DeAndre Smelter on Wednesday. The receiver has been plagued by injury this offseason and limited during the team's offseason program and parts of training camp. Per multiple sources, Baalke stated that Smelter has been dealing with a soft-tissue and lower-body injury, but should be back to practicing in a week or two. "Not even thinking IR at this point," said Baalke.

He also stated that he expects Smelter to play in preseason. It would be Smelter's first live NFL action of his career. After spending his rookie season recovering from surgery to repair his torn ACL, Smelter has remained an unknown commodity for the 49ers. Early on, he drew comparisons to former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin, who is now with the Detroit Lions.

"Smelter's more of a week-to-week than a day-to-day," said Kelly on Monday. "With Smelter, I don't think we'll see him this week. Hopefully we'll get him back." The 49ers are in Denver this week to practice with the Broncos and then play against them on Saturday.

When asked if his injury was related to that of the one he was battling during the team's offseason program, Kelly stated that he was not sure what he was experiencing then and simply said, "I don't have an answer on that one."

Smelter was a fourth round selection out of Georgia Tech in 2015. In 2014, he had 35 receptions for 715 yards and seven touchdowns through 10 games at Georgia Tech. That's an impressive average of over 20 yards-per-catch. Smelter's 11-inch hands were the largest of his draft class and he has the size to be a physical threat at receiver for the team.








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