The San Francisco 49ers are certainly testing their depth heading into Thursday game against the Green Bay Packers. It’s not by choice as the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced three wide receivers to the bench for their Week 9 game. With Kendrick Bourne, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk all now in the reserve/COVID-19 list, the 49ers will be counting on Trent Taylor as their top receiver. Who is Trent Taylor?
The 49ers have been clobbered by COVID-19
The San Francisco 49ers thought things were bad enough after Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Not only did they lose the game, but they lost their starting quarterback, running back, and tight end to injury. The team was already short-handed coming into the game, especially at the running back position.
The 49ers were already without running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson before losing Tevin Coleman in the first quarter. Then quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle went down with injuries. Both are expected to miss significant time.
On Wednesday morning, the team’s facility was shut down after wide receiver Kendrick Bourne tested positive for COVID-19. Wednesday night, the Niners placed wide receivers Deebo Samuel (already out with a hamstring injury) and Brandon Aiyuk, along with offensive lineman Trent Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Samuel, Aiyuk, and Williams were considered close contacts of Bourne and therefore are out for Thursday’s game.
The 49ers vs. Packers game still a go
The NFL has said it still plans to move forward with Thursday night’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers flew out to San Francisco on Wednesday night. The 49ers have four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, while the Packers have their own COVID-19 issues.
Green Bay’s AJ Dillion, a rookie running back selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, also tested positive this week. As was the case with the 49ers, the Packers were forced to add two other close contacts to Dillon on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Jamaal Williams, the Packers’ No. 2 running back, and linebacker Kamal Martin will also be out Thursday.
With Dillion, listed third on the Packers depth chart at running back, and Williams out, the Packers have their own problems. Starting running back Aaron Jones has missed the last two games with a calf injury and his return Thursday doesn’t look promising. If Jones can’t go, the Packers will have to rely on two unknowns – Dexter Williams and Tyler Ervin – in the backfield.
Who is Trent Taylor?
The San Francisco 49ers are a mess on offense. When Kendrick Bourne, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk were all placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Thursday’s game, all eyes turned to Trent Taylor. Taylor, at that point Wednesday night, was the lone healthy wide receiver on the 49ers roster.
The Nick Mullens-to-Trent Taylor combo isn’t what the 49ers had planned entering the season. It wasn’t even what they had planned Wednesday. Who is Trent Taylor? Taylor was drafted by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. He played his college football at Louisiana Tech.
Taylor is 5-foot-8, 180 pounds and missed all of last season with a foot injury. In eight games this season, he has nine catches for 77 yards. In his career with the 49ers, Taylor has 78 catches for 722 yards and three touchdowns.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.