49ers Rumors: WR Jalen Hurd's Knee Injury Feared to Be a Torn ACL

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd celebrates after scoring against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)
Josie Lepe/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd suffered "what's believed to be a major knee injury" in practice Sunday and is undergoing an MRI Monday, according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

Per that report, "The fear is the test will reveal a torn ACL."

Hurd, 24, was a third-round pick in 2019 after playing for Tennessee and Baylor during his college career. He sat out his entire rookie season with a back injury, however. 

The young receiver was expected to play a major role in San Francisco's offense in 2020, especially with Deebo Samuel's status for the start of the season unknown while he recovers from a foot injury.

David Lombardi of The Athletic broke down Hurd's expected role with the Niners in July:

"Hurd will be a 'big slot' receiver in Kyle Shanahan's system capable of generating yards after the catch. Hurd will be asked to use his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame to block for the outside-zone run game. And if Hurd is truly 100 percent healthy, don't be surprised if he also takes a few handoffs. This guy was originally an SEC power back at Tennessee."

If Hurd is indeed done for the year yet again and Samuel starts the season on the sidelines, San Francisco's wide receiver depth will be seriously tested. Rookie first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk will be called upon to handle a major role in such a scenario, while recent signees Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson may be given immediate roles. 

Thankfully for the Niners, Aiyuk has already impressed. 

Nick Wagoner @nwagoner

A strong day for rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk, who continues to make a strong first impression. He caught a deep ball in 11's from Jimmy Garoppolo against Jason Verrett. Later added would be big gains from Garoppolo on a dig and a crosser. He and Garoppolo in tune early.

"You can tell he knows how to practice like a pro. You can tell he comes prepared every day," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters about the rookie wideout. "He's not a guy you've had to teach how to act or teach how important it is to learn this stuff.

"You can tell he understood that before he got here and since we've been around him, you can tell he's been working and that's why he's further ahead, I think, than a lot of rookies would be at this time."