49ers roster: Jalen Hurd responds to Kyle Shanahan’s call-out

Jalen Hurd #17 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurd #17 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Not long after 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan called him out, wide receiver Jalen Hurd had his best practice of training camp yet.

For the hopefuls of San Francisco 49ers third-year wide receiver Jalen Hurd, this one is for you.

After missing the last two seasons with serious injuries, the Niners’ third-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft needed to do two things in training camp to convince head coach Kyle Shanahan he was worth a roster spot.

Stay healthy and then perform well enough to show he can make an impact.

Through most of organized team activities and the opening portions of training camp, the 6-foot-4 Hurd was unable to do this consistently, resulting in Shanahan’s comments that both endorsed Hurd’s potential but called him out by saying “there’s not a lot of time left.”

Hurd had spent much of camp either rehabbing with trainers or working through one-on-one drills only, not partaking in full-team practices much if at all.

Well, it looks as if Hurd responded in a positive manner.

Jalen Hurd shines for 49ers during Thursday practices

San Francisco held one of its presumed starters, Deebo Samuel, out of practice on Thursday. Hopefully nothing more than a precautionary measure.

That meant a chance for Hurd to take some reps with the starters, which he did. And Hurd also made a serious impact catching passes from rookie quarterback Trey Lance, too, serving as that big-bodied target who can bail out his quarterback.

While there were plenty of promising reviews of Hurd on Twitter stemming from practice, perhaps these are the ones that stood out the most:

Staying healthy was going to be one of Hurd’s biggest obstacles. Especially after suffering a serious back injury his rookie season, then tearing his ACL during training camp a year ago.

But with so many other options vying for the back end of the 49ers’ wide receiver depth chart, Hurd had to prove he could make a significant impact, too.

True, there are still doubts whether or not Thursday’s practice will be enough to warrant placement on the regular-season roster, yet Hurd making his way onto the positive side of the practice report is surely a move in the right direction.

Read More: 2021 training camp could be Jalen Hurd’s last chance

Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Sherfield have all but guaranteed themselves spots on the 53-man roster, while another big-bodied veteran, Mohamed Sanu, is looking awfully good.

Hurd now finds himself competing with players like Jauan Jennings, Travis Benjamin, Richie James and River Cracraft for one of likely two remaining spots on the regular-season grouping.

That’ll be a tough climb, sure. And one solid practice won’t be enough for Hurd to warrant placement.

After Thursday, though, it’s safe to say Hurd has increased his stock level significantly.

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