The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver competition may continue into the regular season. That is, if Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd’s injuries are anything keeping them out.
In his press conference today, Kyle Shanahan said it was “highly unlikely” that the 49ers would see Taylor in Week 1 of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As far as Hurd is concerned, Shanahan doesn’t have an answer, instead saying they will reassess it in the coming days. Bad back + no answer = Week 1 in question.
Shanahan had what was seen as a tough decision to make with the wide receiver. One that originally could have seen a seventh roster spot burned just to keep everyone. With Taylor and Hurd both out, that means that Shanahan could get an extended look. This means that Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Jordan Matthews, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, and Richie James could theoretically be on the team to start the year while Hurd and Taylor recover. This of course would require other roster spots to be burned, but with no return date in site for either Hurd or Taylor, the 49ers could decide to continue the wide receiver audition into the regular season.
This could work well because good players are getting cut. It’s also a group of players where Shanahan has not identified any standouts. Some regular season game-day performances could be what the group needs to break any ties.
It’s doubtful Shanahan keeps all the names mentioned above with the cutdown to the 53-man roster, but it’s not far fetched to think he keeps an extra body just to accommodate that injuries to Hurd and Taylor. Two players that were looking good before they got hurt.
Keeping an extra wide receiver or two is now out of necessity, not a luxury.