49ers' Ray-Ray McCloud suffers broken wrist, to miss 2 months

The San Francisco 49ers will be without receiver/returner Ray-Ray McCloud for about two months after he broke his left wrist, coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday.

McCloud injured the wrist while trying to haul in a deep pass from quarterback Sam Darnold in Tuesday's practice and is slated to have surgery Friday. He is expected to miss eight weeks.

"They always say around eight weeks," Shanahan told reporters after Thursday's practice with the Las Vegas Raiders. "It could be a little less. Hopefully, it is. We'll see."

Because of the expected recovery window, the Niners will have to carry McCloud on the active roster through the initial cut to 53 on Aug. 29, which means they will have to release someone else and then bring that player back if and when he clears waivers. McCloud would then go on injured reserve and be eligible to return after a minimum of four games.

And because the injury happened during camp, he can't be placed on the physically unable to perform list. If the Niners were to put him on injured reserve now, he would not be eligible to return this season.

The 49ers signed McCloud in March 2022, and he quickly emerged as their primary punt and kick returner. He averaged 10.8 yards per punt return and 23 yards per kick return last season while serving as the No. 4 receiver and posting 14 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown.

With McCloud out, the Niners will turn to a group that includes rookie wideout Ronnie Bell, undrafted rookie cornerback D'Shawn Jamison and receivers Danny Gray and Willie Snead IV to handle return duties in what Shanahan called an "open competition."

Bell, a seventh-round pick out of Michigan this year, is expected to get first crack at the job.

"He's a natural catcher," Shanahan said. "He's comfortable back there. So, he'll have an opportunity now."

Elsewhere on the injury front, Shanahan said tight end George Kittle has a strained adductor and will miss the rest of this week. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw departed Thursday's practice with a hamstring strain, and defensive end Drake Jackson also did not practice (hamstring).