It’s been a wide receiver heavy day here at Niners Nation. San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said in his opening statement on Tuesday that the team had interviewed a bunch of wide receivers. We haven’t seen Jalen Hurd play for the 49ers since the second preseason game because of a stress fracture in his lower back. Both Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan was optimistic that Hurd would be cleared soon, hopefully in April, but the stress fracture that Hurd is recovering from has been “stubborn.” Here is Lynch:
“We think we’re nearing toward a much better place, to where he’ll be cleared for all activities. Don’t want to give that word officially. But there’s been some recent scans that give us a lot of hope that will be the case, and come April in the offseason program he’ll be a full go.”
We discussed how Hurd didn’t fly with the team to Miami because Hurd wasn’t sure if the long flight would further affect his back injury. Shanahan discussed his injury as well:
“With the back stuff, he didn’t want to travel or be in the meetings. There wasn’t much to do. He had a stress fracture. It’s taken a long time to heal. We wanted him as immobile as possible.”
It’s smart for the team to be ultra-cautious with Hurd, who unquestionably has a bright future. Shanahan added, “It’s been a while. I don’t know for sure what to expect.”
When you hear, “We think we’re nearing toward a much better place,” it sounds like Hurd had a lot of complications and setbacks. Hurd not being able to fly on a plane nearly six months after his injury isn’t a great sign, either. This offseason will be critical for Hurd. If he can be cleared by April and participate in all of the team offseason activities, that’d be huge. Getting to work with the team and go through the offseason program is when players take that “next jump.” We saw that with Fred Warner as a player. It’s not always a physical jump, but the mental aspect is important as well. The 49ers will need Hurd in 2020. How much is yet to be determined, but when you take a player at the top of the third round, that’s still considered a player you should get production out of. As always, health is key.