Wide receiver Jalen Hurd appears to be on pace to be cleared in plenty of time to compete for a role with the 49ers this season.
“[He’s] been rehabbing away, but we check in regularly,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Saturday. “He’s doing a nice job with his rehab. We’re excited about that. I think Jalen’s always been a hard worker and just had some tough luck with that stuff.
“He’ll continue to work hard, and we think he’ll be ready to go.”
Hurd sustained a torn ACL during a routine workout session on a side field on the first day of training camp last summer. The 49ers planned to ease him back onto the field after he missed all of his rookie season with a stress fracture in his back.
Hurd, a third-round draft pick in 2019, appeared in just one exhibition game as a rookie before he was sidelined for his entire first season in the NFL. He caught two touchdown passes in his one appearance.
Hurd, who starred as a running back at Tennessee before transferring to Baylor for a switch to wide receiver, was selected for his versatility.
The 49ers did not select a receiver during the 2021 draft, opting instead to draft two running backs. But Hurd could provide the team with contributions as a slot receiver if his body cooperates.
In particular, the 49ers do not have an obvious answer as a primary slot receiver, where Richie James and Travis Benjamin are among the team’s options.
“I think we have some guys on our team who have done it,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I think of guys who are about to show they can do it. And hopefully a guy like Jalen can get healthy and have a chance to compete with these guys so he can show he can do it.”