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Louis Murphy the latest in a long line of unexpected 49ers players in 2017

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Injuries and struggles have led the 49ers to field players nobody expected this year, and Murphy is another name on that list going into Sunday.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

So much of the San Francisco 49ers 2017 season an be written off before considering what comes next. There are a handful of players who have seen the field when nobody ever expected them to, and that includes wide receiver Louis Murphy, who should be playing against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Murphy is a veteran receiver who wants to show teams he still has what it takes. I’m not sure what his future can be with the 49ers, but head coach Kyle Shanahan expects to get him involved early on.

“We’re going to need him,” Shanahan said after Murphy was signed on Monday. “We’re going to need him to play for us, help us out.”

Shanahan also said that Murphy has picked up the offense quickly, and “hasn’t made too many mistakes” throughout the week of practice. That’s a good sign, given Murphy was brought in specifically for his veteran presence, not to mention his size.

Murphy didn’t play in a regular season game in 2016, and played in just six games the previous season. His best year was 2010, when he caught 41 passes for 609 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Murphy is 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs, and will definitely provide something a lot different to the receivers currently on the roster.

It will be interesting to see how Murphy responds. He spent time this offseason with the 49ers, and is familiar with Shanahan’s offense. The coach said that the team can’t ask him to play “too much,” but I’d guess Murphy, a professional, will see the field for more than half of the game.

If Murphy plays well, then great for him and great for the 49ers. If he doesn’t, it’ll just be another player the 49ers need to consider replacing as they march toward a winless season.