Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Shouldn’t Sign Antonio Brown to Replace Injured Jalen Hurd

Levin T. Black
Aug 17, 2020 at 12:06 PM


The tantalizing possibilities the San Francisco 49ers were going to have with 2019 third round wide receiver Jalen Hurd have been put on hold. Again.

Hurd has yet to play a down for the 49ers. He missed all of the 2019 season with a back injury. It was a rotten development after scoring two touchdowns in a preseason appearance.

There's no preseason this year and according to multiple reports, there won't be a regular season for Hurd either. The receiver got an MRI on Monday. It is believed the WR has a torn ACL, although no confirmation from the 49ers as of the publishing of this article.

The heartbreaking injury has led some to speculate on the 49ers potentially make a splash signing to replace Hurd. Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant, the usual suspects, have been mentioned specifically.

There doesn't seem to be a need. As was stated earlier, Hurd hasn't played a down for the 49ers so what are they needing to replace? Hurd would certainly bring value to the team if healthy but the team has plenty of depth at the position and how much Hurd was going to play was very much in question.

The 49ers have first round pick Brandon Aiyuk, who is impressing and looks primed for a starting role. Of course, last year's leading receiver, Deebo Samuel, will be back sometime in the first half of the season giving the 49ers a second clear starter.

Following those two on the depth chart is Trent Taylor. With Taylor healthy and a favorite target of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, he is likely to have a big role in the slot position and come in at No. 3 on the depth chart.

We're down to the fourth spot already and Kendrick Bourne hasn't been mentioned. Bourne is a solid backup at both outside WR positions in coach Kyle Shanahan's offensive system.

He has demonstrated a particular expertise in short yardage. He caught and scored a touchdown on all five of his targets inside the 10-yard line last season. Only two players scored more touchdowns from that close and neither of them had the 100 percent success rate Bourne managed.

The void seemingly created by the loss of the big bodied Hurd would be in short yardage, near the goalline situations. Bourne makes that void negligible.

Filling out the depth chart is Dante Pettis, rookie Jauan Jennings and recent veteran signings J.J. Nelson and Tavon Austin. Pettis in particular stands to benefit. His roster spot was in question and his opportunity to earn one was going to be limited with Hurd needing plenty of practice to get ready after not playing as a rookie.

The team may bring in another veteran on a minimum deal just to give it another body in camp and potential replacement if a COVID-19 outbreak leaves it without multiple WRs. It already has a workout scheduled with one.


As of now, the 49ers have eight WRs who are good enough to be on an NFL roster. Helping move the chains through the air is the 49ers quality receiving options in the backfield and perhaps the league's best tight end duo in George Kittle and Jordan Reed.

The injury to Hurd is a terrible development for him personally but simply put, the 49ers have all the options needed to excel in the passing game without him. No panic button needed.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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