49ers Rumors: WRs Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson Expected to Sign Contracts

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 14, 2020

Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson (4) gives chase as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin (10) returns a punt for a long gain during an NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019.(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Currently thin at wide receiver, the San Francisco 49ers are reportedly going to add reinforcements as they continue to make their way through training camp.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, San Francisco is planning to sign Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson, pending results of a physical for both players. 

The potential signings come after ESPN's Field Yates reported on Thursday that the 49ers brought in Austin, Nelson and Donte Moncrief for a workout. 

San Francisco's receiving corps has been significantly impacted by free agency and injuries this offseason. Emmanuel Sanders, who finished third on the team with 36 receptions and 502 yards in 10 games last season, left to sign a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints in March. 

Deebo Samuel had surgery on his left foot in June to repair a Jones fracture suffered during an offseason workout. He posted on Instagram his plan to be back in 10 weeks from the date he had surgery, but the 49ers haven't put an official timetable on his return. 

Return specialist Richie James Jr. broke his wrist in June and is expected to miss at least two months, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. That timetable could have him back on the field before the start of the regular season. 

Austin can serve as insurance at wide receiver and special teams. He's returned 185 kicks and 25 punts during his seven-year career. The 30-year-old caught 13 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown last season with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Nelson appeared in two games with the Oakland Raiders last season before being released on Oct. 10. His best year came in 2016 when he had 568 yards and six touchdowns on 34 receptions for the Arizona Cardinals.