Veteran Alfred Morris earned a roster spot as insurance after second-year players Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols failed to impress coach Kyle Shanahan and the organization. Morris will be paired with Matt Breida to share the duties in the backfield as McKinnon spends the season rehabbing to be at full strength for 2019.
As the story said, the two RBs are contrasts in styles and experience. It went on to say it could be a weekly adjustment, as Shanahan looks for the right matchups against a given opponent, beginning Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Right now, neither Morris nor Breida knows exactly what to expect.
The running back Kyle Shanahan famously "pounded the table for" in the fourth round of the 2017 draft is already off the roster. The 49ers will move forward with Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, and Alfred Morris as their top three running backs.
This means Williams is out for the year, and the handcuff to Carlos Hyde is undrafted free agent Matt Breida, who impressed Kyle Shanahan and company this preseason. With Hyde's injury history, he could become fantasy relevant at some point this year.
From 49ers beat writer Matt Barrows: "Hyde has gone from looking out of place early in the spring to looking like a man possessed in the summer."
Barrows reports after the offseason ended in mid-June, Hyde stayed at the team facility for the next six weeks instead of heading to South Florida or Ohio State, his usual routine. Hyde also dropped weight and cut his body-fat percentage from 16 percent to nearly single digits.
After attending 49ers camp, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan added on Sirius XM radio Sunday night: "He's the guy...he's not being challenged."
Hyde has been a low-RB2 in our rankings this offseason after some reports that he initially struggled in OTAs adapting to Kyle Shanahan's outside zone blocking rushing attack. There's still time though for Hyde to move up the rankings with a strong preseason. Hyde was RB14 in PPR fantasy points per game last season, but he has yet to play a full season, missing three games last year, nine in 2015 and two as a rookie. Hyde's ADP sits in the 4th round, which sounds about right to us. It's not great value, but he's not overpriced either.