It could be nothing, but it might be something.
NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that the 49ers are signing wide receiver Deontay Burnett to their practice squad, citing a source. Burnett reportedly was signed following a workout featuring multiple receivers.
The 49ers confirmed the transaction Wednesday, releasing Malik Henry from the practice squad in a corresponding move.
The fact that San Francisco is altering its practice squad isn't necessarily notable, unless it's a reaction to developments regarding the 53-man roster. As we know, the 49ers' receivers haven't exactly had the cleanest bills of health up to this point in the season.
Trent Taylor might have been talking trash following San Francisco's big win over the Rams on Sunday, but that doesn't change the fact that he has yet to appear in a game this season while recovering from surgery. The same goes for third-round draft pick Jalen Hurd. Jordan Matthews was signed after Hurd was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 3, but he has been inactive for both games since. Then second-round draft pick Deebo Samuel injured his groin in the win over the Rams, leaving the rookie questionable for the 49ers' Week 7 game against Washington.
Given all of those injury concerns circling around San Francisco's receiving corps, the Burnett signing could simply be viewed as insurance, or perhaps it's an indication the 49ers don't expect to have Samuel when they attempt to improve to 6-0 on Sunday.
A three-year player at USC, Burnett looks the part of a Kyle Shanahan receiver. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he's a good route runner who has shown glimpses of potential. Burnett caught on with the Titans after being undrafted out of college and produced a solid preseason with Tennessee, but was a casualty of final roster cuts. He was signed by the Jets shortly thereafter, and caught 10 passes for 143 yards over five games with New York last season. He was waived by the Jets at the conclusion of training camp earlier this year.
The 49ers signing Burnett to the practice squad doesn't necessarily mean they expect him to eventually make an impact on the 53-man roster. However, it sure would seem to suggest one or more of San Francisco's ailing receivers is further away from a return than originally thought.