The San Francisco 49ers signed wide receiver Lance Lewis Friday afternoon, and now we know why. Head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that wide receiver Chuck Jacobs suffered a torn ACL in Thursday's preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Jacobs suffered the injury on a kick return late in the fourth quarter. He came up the right side and delivered a stiff arm to the kicker. The stiff arm put the kicker down, but he came down on Jacobs leg. Jacobs went down quickly, but after the game, the belief was that it was a hyperextended knee and he had avoided anything too bad. That clearly is not the case. Jacobs was also actually penalized for a face mask penalty on the play.
Jacobs put together a strong preseason a year ago, albeit in mostly "garbage time" late in games. While his numbers came deep in games, I figured it would be enough to get him a little more preseason playing time this year. He got some time in the second quarter on Thursday, although that likely was influenced in part by Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd's absences.
Jacobs was a long shot to make the roster prior to the injury. If he clears waivers, the 49ers can place him on injured reserve, and bring him back next year for another chance to earn a roster spot. Michael Crabtree will be a free agent, and if he does not sign a new deal, it could open up some opportunities. The 49ers have added quite a bit of depth to the group, so even if Crabtree departs, it would still be an uphill climb for Jacobs.
Lance Lewis will likely get a decent amount of playing time this preseason, but as with Jacobs, his roster chances are slim.