The 49ers had high hopes for wide receiver Jalen Hurd when they took him in the third round of the 2019 draft, but they went totally unrealized.
Hurd missed his rookie season with a back injury and tore his ACL in 2020, so he came into the 2021 season without any game experience. He played in the team’s final preseason game this summer, but went back on injured reserve before the season opener because of further issues with his knee.
Waiting to put Hurd on injured reserve until after the cut to 53 players preserved the chance to activate him this season, but that won’t be happening because the 49ers released Hurd on Friday. On Saturday, head coach Kyle Shanahan explained why the team decided to cut ties with the wideout at this point.
“We realized he wasn’t going to come back this year,” Shanahan said, via 49ersWebZone.com. “We were giving it as much time as we could. We all felt very strongly that if he could come back, how much he could have helped us. But for the third year in a row, just with his [bad luck] with these injuries, how it was healing, we knew it wasn’t going to be this year. Just going into a fourth year in a row of it would just be too much of a risk for our organization, so we had to move on.”
The 49ers landed contributors like defensive end Nick Bosa, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and linebacker Dre Greenlaw in the 2019 draft, but Hurd goes down as a swing and a big miss.