San Francisco Chronicle

Matthews bulks up in a bid to catch on

- By Eric Branch Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: ebranch@sfchronicl­e.com Twitter: @Eric_Branch

Former 49ers wide receiver Jordan Matthews is returning to the team — as a former wide receiver.

Matthews, a sevenyear veteran, added 21 pounds to his 215pound frame this offseason to transition to tight end, his agent, Steve Caric, said. Matthews, 29, is familiar with the 49ers’ offense after spending brief stints with the team the past two seasons.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch saw Matthews catch passes during rookie quarterbac­k Trey Lance’s second pro day in April at North Dakota State. Matthews was among the 49 tight ends who attended “Tight End U,” which was hosted by 49ers tight end George Kittle in June in Nashville. Matthews also spent part of the summer working out with Kittle and Packers tight end Robert Tonyan in Nashville.

The 49ers added Matthews with tight end MyCole Pruitt, 29, sidelined with a calf injury. Pruitt, who hasn’t practiced since Wednesday, will be out “for a little bit,” Shanahan said. Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner and undrafted rookie Josh Pederson are the 49ers’ available tight ends.

Matthews, a 2014 secondroun­d pick, has 274 career catches, but just 53 over the past four seasons. Last year, he played 14 snaps in two games with the 49ers and didn’t have a catch.

Downward Deebo: Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whose broken foot and hamstring strains in 2020 were the latest leg injuries he’s suffered dating to college, added hot yoga to his offseason training. Samuel worked out in Florida at the House of Athlete, which is owned by former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

“I just focus more on my lower body and making sure the hamstring is fine, the heel, the foot, ankle, all the things that I’ve basically injured,” Samuel said. “I just focused on that and it helped.”

Injury report: Defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Jalen Hurd, who are participat­ing only in individual drills early in training camp, had a scheduled “maintenanc­e day,” Shanahan said. Both players are returning from torn ACLs.

Hurd, a 2019 thirdround pick, hasn’t had a full practice with the 49ers since August 2019. He missed his rookie season with a back injury.

“We’ve seen no setbacks,” offensive coordinato­r Mike McDaniel said. “Every time he’s been on the field, we’ve been very pumped about (him). Really it’s been him needing to be available. And so far, so good.”

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst sat out practice with an ankle sprain, Shanahan said.

 ?? Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle 2019 ?? Jordan Matthews was with the 49ers as a wide receiver in 2019 and 2020. This year, he hopes to make the roster as a tight end.
Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle 2019 Jordan Matthews was with the 49ers as a wide receiver in 2019 and 2020. This year, he hopes to make the roster as a tight end.

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