BRYANT RELEASED AFTER FAILED PHYSICAL

Junior Bryant's comeback bid with the 49ers didn't make it past the first hurdle toward him rejoining the team.

The 49ers released the seven-year veteran on Monday after he failed a physical due to concerns regarding his neck and back.

Bryant's locker had been cleared out at the team's Santa Clara headquarters when the Niners resumed practice after a player's day off. Bryant, 30, had been given approval by team doctors to resume his comeback bid during training camp on Aug. 14, with the understanding he would need to pass a physical before he'd receive clearance to play again.

That didn't happen.

"It's never an easy decision when you have to release a veteran player like Junior Bryant," Niners general manager Terry Donahue said. "He is an outstanding person, a very active member of the community and someone we were pulling for to return to the team. The doctors informed us last week that the risks involved in allowing Junior to pursue his comeback were just too significant. We wish him the best of luck with whatever he chooses to do."

Bryant had started 35 consecutive games along the defensive line when he crashed to the turf helmet-first while making a tackle in a Sept. 17 game last year at St. Louis. He was motionless on the field for several moments before being taped to a board and wheeled off on a stretcher. He later was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his neck and placed on injured reserve.

After mulling over information he received from team doctors and other medical experts, Bryant announced on Aug. 14 he would attempt a comeback.

But his condition never improved enough to allow him to pass the physical that would have allowed him to resume full practice with the team. Bryant had been working out on the side with the team's conditioning coaches since being placed on the physically unable to perform list when training camp began in July.

Niners Digest Top Stories