Monday, November 3, 2014, 8:07pm
The team announced Monday afternoon the signing of Kendall Hunter to a one-year contract extension through the 2015 season.
Hunter, a fourth-round pick of the Niners in 2011 out of Oklahoma State, tore the ACL in his right knee on the second day of training camp this summer. He has played in 43 games and has rushed for 1,202 yards and seven touchdowns on 262 carries.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:01am
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said his first impression of the game was that his team has some work to do.
Harbaugh was pleased with the way rookie running back Carlos Hyde ran. Hyde was authoritative and explosive as he had 39 yards on five carries.
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10:04pm
Hyde racked up 34 yards on three carries on his first professional drive, helping to set up a field goal as San Francisco took an early 3-0 lead.
Hyde’s gains were seven, 19 and eight yards, respectively. On the 19-yarder, a block from fullback Bruce Miller helped him get the corner off left end.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:55pm
The 49ers are going to try and sneak injured tailback Kendall Hunter through waivers and onto injured reserve. San Francisco waived Hunter with an “injured” designation on Monday, per the NFL’s transactions.
Hunter suffered an ACL tear in late July — an injury that likely ends his 2014 season. Also, he’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. In short, any team adding Hunter via waivers might not have him for a single snap this year and could lose him next offseason.
By waiving the 25-year-old Hunter, the 49ers can conceivably use his roster spot to add another player as the preseason begins. However, they also risk a team snapping up Hunter, a solid reserve tailback when healthy.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:38am
Smith joins a unit hit hard by injuries since training camp practices began Thursday. Kendall Hunter, the incumbent No. 2 back behind Frank Gore, sustained a season-ending knee injury Friday, then LaMichael James dislocated an elbow Sunday that could sideline him for a month.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:09am
He's 31, ancient in running back years, and is surrounded by younger players, including two of the most highly regarded runners in the last two drafts, Marcus Lattimore and Carlos Hyde. Lattimore's challenge of Gore may be delayed. When the 49ers' first practice of training camp began Thursday, he was on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he continues to come back from his 2012 knee injury.
If the 49ers are eying a running-back-by-committee approach this season, they're not letting on.
Gore already lost two of his potential backups, though. Kendall Hunter is done for the year and LaMichael James is going to miss all of the preseason. That leaves Hyde as his main competition at the moment in camp until Lattimore returns, so it looks like Gore could emerge as a guy to again get significant work, perhaps especially early on in the season. Gore's age and previous workload are a little scary and because of that we have him ranked 23rd among our backs with an ADP of the 7th round. He looks to be a good depth option for your team, and if you can land him as an RB3, you should be in pretty good shape with your fantasy backfield.
It's believed James got hurt in a pass-blocking drill. Coach Jim Harbaugh hovered over James on the ground before a trainer whisked him off to the locker room. James appeared to be supporting his left wrist with his right hand.
James had just become a top contender for the No. 2 running back role behind Frank Gore Friday, once Kendall Hunter sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament and was lost for the season. Next up on the depth chart are Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore. With Gore getting up in age, the 9ers RB2 can be fantasy worthy.
Running back Kendall Hunter tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Friday at practice, the team confirmed Saturday morning.
Hunter has served as the top understudy to Frank Gore since breaking into the league in 2011, aside from missing the final two months of the 2012 season with a torn Achilles.
Candidates to fill the 49ers’ No. 2 tailback job are LaMichael James, Carlos Hyde, Jewell Hampton and Marcus Lattimore, who’s on the non-football-injury list but has been doing conditioning drills on a side field in camp.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:52pm
After he was checked by medical staff for a number of minutes, Hunter walked back to the locker room under his own power.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:23pm
49ers beat write Cam Inman previews the team's RB corps: This is Frank Gore's 10th camp but his first with so many viable candidates to share the load. Marcus Lattimore's comeback attempt is of utmost interest, and aside from running, can he pass protect? Kendall Hunter remains the No. 2 back, though he's coming off a career-low 358 rushing yards and is in a contract year. Carlos Hyde could be a rookie gem with his deft hands and power legs. If that quartet proves strong, LaMichael James finally might get traded.
The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014. One thing to note here -- Inman believes that Hunter is still the RB2 in San Francisco.
The 49ers have good depth, and might finally start to use multiple running backs. Carlos Hyde was chosen in the second round of the draft, which provides a clear indication that they believe he is capable of eventually taking over for Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore will get plenty of opportunities to prove he is back from a severe knee injury he sustained during his final season at South Carolina.
Coming off what both Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke described as an “A-plus-plus” season, Gore appears to be solid in his standing as the starter. After that, the depth chart will be sorted out through competition in training camp. Hyde and Lattimore will have to prove their worth in pass protection in order to take the backup job away from Kendall Hunter. If everyone remains healthy in training camp, the 49ers could look to trade a running back just before the final round of cuts.
The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014.
49ers beat writer Bill Williamson was asked how many carries RB Frank Gore will get: "Right now, I’d probably guess Gore would get about 220 carries. The 49ers are paying him $6.4 million, so they think he can still help, even though he is 31 and is entering the final year of his contract. Rookie Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore, if he can stay healthy, will take carries. But Gore is still Gore. He will have a role. Gore had 276 carries last season, which was the third-most in his nine-season career. He is a trusted resource for the 49ers. Don’t expect to see a dramatic carry decrease."
Gore has finished in the top 13 in three straight seasons, but he has turned 31 and has rookie Carlos Hyde and second-year RB Marcus Lattimore to deal with. Gore faded down the stretch, averaging just 8.5 fantasy points per game (3.8 YPC) after the team's Week 9 bye (including the playoffs). Prior to the bye, he averaged 14.2 PPG and a 4.2 YPC. We're expecting the 49ers to move to a committee with Gore in the lead role as long as he's healthy. He could post 270-plus carries again if Hyde and/or Lattimore aren't ready to play. Don't forget about Kendall Hunter -- he's capable and is still in the mix.
It all depends on how well he does in pass protection. The 49ers have not seen Hyde or Marcus Lattimore in pads. If they are slow to pick up the nuances of the 49ers’ blitz pickup packages – or are not physically able to carry out their assignments – then, there’s no way either is going to get onto the field for significant playing time this season.
Kendall Hunter, the 49ers’ backup running back in each of his three seasons with the club, is very underrated in all aspects. But the 49ers rate him highly. And that's all that matters. Until Hyde or Lattimore prove themselves, the 49ers’ coaching staff is going to stick with Hunter because they know he can be trusted.
Hunter has a 4.6-yard rushing average in his three seasons as Gore’s primary backup. That's not too shabby. He also has a firm grasp of the team’s protections. And despite his smallish stature, he does a fine job of executing his duties.
There is no guarantee that Hyde will pass Hunter (or Gore) on the depth chart this season, but if either falters, the rookie could see some playing time, especially if he continues to run and catch the ball well. Given his late-season performance in 2013, we're not terribly bullish on Gore, though he usually is able to outperform his ADP.
ESPN's Bill Williamson on 49ers RB Carlos Hyde: "The running back has shined out of the backfield as a runner and as receiver. I expect the Ohio State product to get a chance to get big playing time right away. He was considered a steal at No. 57 on draft night and he's still looking like one."
On Monday, 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore said that he was experiencing soreness in both legs, including his right one. He saw this as a positive sign. “I'm excited about it,” he said. “About six, seven months ago, it would just be my left leg that would be sore. Now i'm balanced on both legs. Feeling good, man.”
Lattimore had been going full speed prior to the current camp. “The days that he was full speed, (he) looked very good,” HC Jim Harbaugh said. Harbaugh also said Lattimore was noticebly better than he was during the three-week window in which he was permitted to practice last season. “Again, he's improved to where he was the last time we saw him in those practices in the end of the season,” Harbaugh said. “Yes, he's quick and faster."
On Friday, Cam Inman released video of Lattimore at practice.
There is a lot of interest surrounding Lattimore, and rightfully so, but from a redraft perspective, he's still behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, and the team drafted Carlos Hyde in the 2nd round Barring an injury to Gore and/or Hunter, it's not likely that Lattimore will make a significant impact in 2014. He and Hyde will vie for dynasty value for now.
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