Benjamin sustained a concussion during the team’s preseason finale, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News tweets, so maybe that had something to do with the decision. After Richie James Jr went down with a knee injury, the initial thought from many was that Benjamin would be in line to take over as punt returner, potentially saving him from being a cutdown casualty.
Apparently not so, as Kyle Shanahan has other plans for the team’s return game. A fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2012, Benjamin began his career with the Browns. He had a breakout 2015 campaign when he racked up 966 yards and five touchdowns. After his rookie deal ran out, he earned a four-year $24MM deal from the Chargers.
He put up some decent numbers in his first two years with the Chargers, but fell off after that. Benjamin signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last offseason, but opted out of the 2020 campaign. He does have a solid history with punt returns, with four career return touchdowns on 109 tries.
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