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What Bruce Ellington injury means for wide receivers

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The 49ers wide receiver depth chart is not pretty. Who might emerge from them, if anybody?

The San Francisco 49ers placed Bruce Ellington on injured reserve, ending his season. As has been clarified, the return option is only available for players placed on IR after final roster cuts. And so, he will be sidelined with a torn hamstring.

The next questions are what this means for the wide receivers. It impacts the return game as well, but we’ll focus on the passing game for now. Here is what I had in the bubble watch this morning, with Ellington removed from the locks.

Locks: Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton
Strong bubble: DeAndre Smelter, Dres Anderson, Aaron Burbridge, DeAndrew White, Jeremy Kerley
Weak bubble: Bryce Treggs
Longshot: Devon Cajuste, Ryan Whalen

DeAndrew White has been working in the slot during Ellington’s absence this week, and previously during his sprained ankle absence. The team acquired Jeremy Kerley via trade over the weekend, sending Brandon Thomas to the Detroit Lions. He has worked with OC Curtis Modkins in the past, and has the ability in space that could be beneficial in Chip Kelly’s offense. He just has two weeks in which to learn it!

Who would you bump up amidst all this news? White seems like he is a lock at this point. Treggs remains injured and was running on a side field today. I would think he probably ends up on injured reserve to avoid exposing him to waivers, but I would think they would have done that already. Other than that, Cajuste could probably be bumped up to weak bubble. He has gotten praise, while still flying a bit under the radar.

Expectations are pretty low, but who might emerge from this group?