San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver Jalen Hurd may have suffered a torn ACL.
While unpolished, his incredible athleticism was expected to provide a boost to the 49ers’ passing game and — along with second-round pick Deebo Samuel — pave the way for a new era of receivers in San Francisco.
But while Samuel flourished developing into the team’s best receiver, Hurd sat on the sidelines.
The former Baylor star missed the entirety of his rookie season with a back injury as he watched his team fall just short of a Super Bowl title. But going into 2020, things were supposed to e different.
Unfortunately, Monday’s news provided a major blow to both Hurd and the 49ers.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the 49ers fear that Hurd tore his ACL during Sunday’s practice and he underwent an MRI on Monday to confirm their suspicions.
Provided the test results indicate the same thing, this is obviously awful for someone who the 49ers were so high going into this year. And for San Francisco, this yet another blow to their beat-up wide receiver corps.
Samuel is expected to miss at least the first couple of games of the season with a broken foot. Richie James remains sidelined with a broken wrist. And veteran Travis Benjamin decided to opt-out of the 2020 season.
The 49ers’ wide receiver depth chart was already relatively thin, not it’s on life support.
Which 49ers will have to step up in Jalen Hurd’s absence?
Recently signed veterans like Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson may have to step up and fill significant roles on offense early on. Meanwhile, guts like Dante Pettis, Jauan Jennings, and Trent Taylor will have to do the same.
The pressure will be on first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk and veteran Kendrick Bourne to hold down the fort until Samuel returns. And even once he does, the loss of Hurd will continue to hurt.
As for Hurd, it’s difficult to project what the future holds for him. After failing to play a single game throughout the first two years of his career, it will be difficult for the 49ers to rely on him moving forward.
His potential is evident, but the injuries are beginning to pile up for a player who already had injury concerns coming out of college.
This is simply a shame. For both Jalen Hurd and the 49ers, there’s no other way to look at it.