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49ers add assist on receiver with Tavon Austin, JJ Nelson

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Looking for depth with wide receiver Deebo Samuel likely to miss time early in the season due to a broken foot, the San Francisco 49ers plan to sign wide receiver / running back Tavon Austin and wide JJ Nelson, NFL network insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday.

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Both players have been at the 49ers facility for training sessions and COVID-19 testing, Rapoport added.

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ESPN first reported the news.

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With a somewhat excited and relatively inexperienced receiving group in San Fran, Austin and Nelson bring a combined 12-season experience in the NFL.

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The No.8 pick in the 2013 Rams Draft, Austin, 30, gives the 49ers some versatility with his background not just as a wide receiver, but a kick returner and a rusher. Never realizing his first-round potential with the Rams, Austin returns to NFC West after two seasons with the Cowboys. Austin offers 3,346 yards of scrimmage and 25 total touchdowns in his first seven seasons.

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Nelson brings big play potential with an average of 17.4 yards per catch over a five-season NFL career so far. However, after showing promise with the Cardinals in back-to-back 500-yard shows in 2016-17, Nelson’s last year with the Cards in 2018 was unproductive and he only appeared in two games last season in a stint with the Raiders. who saw it cut in November.

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Wide receiver Richie James is also on the NFI roster as Samuel, so Nelson and Austin will aim to contribute to a WR corps that includes first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Hurd and Dante Pettis.

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