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49ers place Austin on IR as receiver injuries pile up

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49ers' Tavon Austin
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The 49ers placed veteran receiver Tavon Austin on injured reserve Thursday with a knee injury, the club announced.   Austin, 30, a seven-year NFL veteran, signed a one-year contract with the 49ers at the opening of training camp to compete for a job on the team’s 53-man roster.   The move comes on the same day the 49ers activated Richie James off the non-football injury list. The wide receiver/return specialist sustained a fractured wrist in June.

Deebo Samuel, expected to be the team’s top wide receiver, remains on the non-football injury list as he rehabilitates from surgery to repair a fractured foot. Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, James, Jauan Jennings, Shawn Poindexter, Kevin White and River Cracraft are the other receivers on the 49ers’ roster.

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New wide receivers

Wide receiver (6) In: Kendrick Bourne, Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Taylor, Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis, Richie James Out: Jauan Jennings, Shawn Poindexter, Kevin White, River Cracraft Changes: In-James from non-football injury; Out-Jennings; Injured Reserve-Tavon Austin   James’ activation from the non-football injury list is something coach Kyle Shanahan did not seem to be counting on for most of training camp. The 49ers still have to sort out whether Samuel and Aiyuk will be available for Week 1.

Jennings is ticketed for the practice squad. Austin goes on injured reserve with a knee injury. The 49ers could consider signing Mohamed Sanu, whom the New England Patriots recently released, for either the 53-man roster or the practice squad.