The Facts: Hurd, who missed his entire rookie season due to a stress fracture in his back, is increasing his rehabilitation at the team’s practice facility in Santa Clara, GM John Lynch said. “He is cleared. We're ramping him up. We are very optimistic,” Lynch said. “I don't want to be overly optimistic because last year we saw some progress and then we had some setbacks.”
Diehards Line:Hurd, who switched from running back to wide receiver upon his transfer from Tennessee to Baylor for his final college season, was a third-round draft pick a year ago. Hurd’s versatility was attractive to 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who imagined lining up Hurd at wide receiver, tight end and running back to take advantage of mismatches. “We love his skill set. We love his mindset,” Lynch said. “Now it's time to put it all to work.” Hurd appeared in one preseason game and caught two touchdown passes for the 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys. He never stepped on the field through the exhibition season, regular season or playoffs. The 49ers placed Hurd on injured reserve on Oct. 3. The club hoped he would be able to be activated off injured reserve, but he experienced setbacks and never came close to being available to play. The 49ers hope Hurd (6-5) provides the 49ers with a big target for Jimmy Garoppolo. He will be competing for playing time on a depth chart that includes returners Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis and others. The 49ers added another big receiver in the draft this year, selecting Jauan Jennings (6-3) in the seventh round. Jennings and Hurd were teammate at Tennessee. Earlier, the 49ers picked Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round at No. 25 overall.