Wide receiver Eric Rogers, a star in the Canadian Football League last year, tore his ACL in Thursday’s 49ers practice and is out for the season, Chip Kelly announced Friday morning. The team will look to sign another receiver to fill his roster spot.
Rogers, 25, led the CFL with 1,448 receiving yards last season, was fourth with 87 receptions, and tied for the league lead with 10 receiving touchdowns while playing for the Calgary Stampeders. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he was one of the few big targets the 49ers had at the position.
“I think he was doing real good,” said fellow receiver Bruce Ellington of Rogers. “He’s one of those guys that can take it over the top, and it’s a big target for a quarterback to have.”
Rogers had been playing right receiver in practice. The starter there, Torrey Smith, sat out Friday’s session due to tightness in his legs. DeAndre Smelter, a fourth-round pick in 2015, took his place and made two nice catches, one of them for a touchdown.
Rogers took himself out of the action twice Thursday. The initial injury seemed to come in a kickoff drill, during which he went down without contact.
Wide receiver is arguably the 49ers’ weakest position, and the group was outplayed in Thursday’s practice by the defensive backs. Kelly, however, noted that no officials have been on hand during the team’s practices and that some of the physical play by those defensive backs likely would be flagged.
“I think if some officials were here it would be called a little bit differently,” he said. “I don’t think it would be as close in coverage. We’ll have a couple days next week where we’ll have the officials in here to practice and that will really kind of help us out and we’ll get a better understanding and a better feel at that point in time.”
Phone friends In late January, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., called Kelly to congratulate him on being hired as head coach. A week later, it was Kelly offering the congratulations to DeBartolo for being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“He left an indelible impression on this organization,” Kelly said of DeBartolo, who is being enshrined Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
“Not only did they win, but they won with class,” Kelly said. “I think it started with him. You just listen to the former players talk about him, like Keena (Turner) and guys that are still around the building, Guy McIntyre and Tom Rathman, guys that knew him really, really well and how much reverence they have for him. So it obviously just speaks to the type of man he is.”
Et cetera – Kelly said safety Jaquiski Tartt (leg) passed his conditioning test Friday and soon will be worked into the training-camp practices. With safety L.J. McCray (knee) and cornerback Will Redmond (knee) not quite 100 percent, the 49ers have been short in the secondary.
▪ Ellington did not field punts during special-teams drills, but worked out in full at receiver after jamming his finger Thursday.
▪ The Raiders claimed outside linebacker Lenny Jones (Nevada), whom the 49ers waived a day earlier.