SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter will not participate in the 49ers’ practices this week against the Denver Broncos, coach Chip Kelly indicated on Monday.
Smelter, a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, sat out his entire rookie season after sustaining a torn ACL in his final season at Georgia Tech. He battled a hamstring issue during the 49ers’ offseason program this spring, further setting back his development.
Smelter was held out of Sunday’s exhibition opener against the Houston Texans due to an undisclosed condition after missing the past several days of practices. And his return to the practice field appears does not appear to be imminent.
Every practice Smelter sits out is a missed opportunity to learn and improve his game, 49ers receivers coach Bob Bicknell said.
“He’s a talented kid,” Bicknell said. “He’s physical. He can run. He’s a raw player, when you talk about raw players. There is a lot of experience that goes into playing this position, especially at this level.
“He needs some reps. Coming off a knee injury and then there are a million things that go along with that, as anybody who’s been injured realizes. Now you got other things that come up. . . He has all the tools that you want, he just honestly is not yet ready to know how to use them. He just doesn’t.”
Depending on the severity and prognosis of Smelter's condition, he could be a candidate for injured reserve or injured reserve/designated for return.