In the Mile-High City, the San Francisco 49ers offense mostly kept the ball on the ground on Wednesday.
And while Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Mike Davis and Jarryd Hayne all got their reps, the featured runner for the first day of the team’s joint practices with the Denver Broncos was none other than Kendall Hunter.
It appears as if Hunter, who missed 2014 with an ACL injury, has little-to-no lingering effects from the lost season.
The fifth-year running back began team periods with the first unit and went on to receive a hefty amount of touches. He recorded several lengthy carries, cutting up the field with ease. He also caught a couple passes out of the backfield and deployed some nifty moves to get past the first wave of defenders. Denver's front seven includes the likes of Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan. Hunter ranks below Hyde and Bush on our RB list.
The 49ers look to replace the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (Gore) with more than one person. Carlos Hyde is best-suited to be the back on base downs and short-yardage situations. Reggie Bush, a free-agent pickup, and Kendall Hunter can play base downs behind Hyde, but they might be better-suited as third-down backs.
Hyde is expected to take over as the team's primary ball-carrier, with Bush assuming the passing down role. Given Bush's presence and Hyde's 4.0 YPC during in his rookie season, Hyde's upside may be somewhat limited. Expect 250 or so carries and a limited role in the passing game. That may be his ceiling with Bush (along with Kendall Hunter and rookie Mike Davis) eating away at his snaps.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 12:55pm
Kendall Hunter’s season was over before it started in 2014. The San Francisco 49ers running back tore his ACL on the first day of the training camp, halting the ball-carrier's growth as a fixture in the offense.
That excitement is beginning to crescendo again, however, with San Francisco's 2015 training camp just weeks away. Hunter had a fantastic offseason program, highlighted by the three-day veteran’s minicamp where he showcased his quick feet and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Each day Hunter made a play or two that had the sidelines buzzing.
“He’s coming along great,” Jim Tomsula said following the minicamp. “I think we all have strong feelings for Kendall… but we definitely have a rep count on him. You’ve got to keep him corralled, but he’s moving around really quick.”
Hunter said mental reps have helped him transition nicely into the 49ers new-look, up-tempo offense under Tomsula and offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, according to the story. Hunter will be a featured piece in that offensive scheme as one of the ball carriers in the team’s running back by committee. He’ll likely split carries primarily with second-year back Carlos Hyde and veteran free-agent Reggie Bush, the story said. But Hunter ranks just 83rd on our list of RBs, as we think Hyde gets a bulk of the work with Bush a big part of pass-catching. Hyde ranks 19th on our list and presents a much better value at this point.
Carlos Hyde missed a lot of the offseason program with a relatively minor leg issue.
That left Reggie Bush to take the first running rep during drills and he reportedly looked strong. Hyde still projects as the early-down starter come Week 1, but his workload will be nibbled into by Bush, rookie Mike Davis and a healthy Kendall Hunter. And if the 49ers end up trailing a lot this season as they very well could, Bush will be logging the majority of snaps as the passing back.
Hyde is expected to take over as the team's primary ball-carrier, with Bush assuming the passing down role. Given Bush's presence and Hyde's 4.0 YPC during in his rookie season, Hyde's upside may be somewhat limited. Expect 240 or so carries and a limited role in the passing game. As for Bush, anytime he stays healthy, he's a factor in PPR formats. He has appeared in 14 or more games in five of his nine NFL seasons, and has finished in the top 14 in PPR leagues in four of those five seasons.
Saturday, April 11, 2015, 1:43pm
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.
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