SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The 49ers decided to move on from Bruce Ellington. The third-year receiver was waived Thursday after a week of training camp practices under new coach Kyle Shanahan.
“Bruce had done a good job with us but we had a bunch of guys who were very similar in their skill set,” Shanahan said. “I thought, give Bruce a chance to go somewhere else. He handled everything great.”
San Francisco has remade its receiving corps since Shanahan and first-time general manager John Lynch were hired in February. The team signed veteran free agents Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson, who are favorites to top the depth chart. Those additions left Ellington as a long shot to make the team.
Ellington missed all of 2016 after suffering a hamstring injury during the preseason. The fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft entered the season with expectations of thriving as a slot receiver in then-coach Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. The injury led the 49ers to trade for Jeremy Kerley, who led the team in receiving. Kerley re-signed with the 49ers in the spring.
“He was drafted in the fourth round because of his talent and it was unfortunate that he was unable to showcase his talents due to injuries that stacked up against him,” said cornerback Dontae Johnson, who was in the same draft class as Ellington. “But, at the end of the day, it’s a business. I hate to see him leave.”
The South Carolina alum battled nagging injuries throughout his tenure with San Francisco and didn’t appear healthy during the first week of training camp, when he worked mostly with the third-team offense. The 49ers this week added free agent receivers Tim Patrick and Louis Murphy, leaving 12 receivers on the 90-man roster.
In 26 games with San Francisco, Ellington had 19 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 7.7 yards on 42 punt returns and 25.6 yards on kickoffs.