One of the San Francisco 49ers big acquisitions in the offseason was signing free agent running back Brandon Jacobs. The problem is Jacobs has been inactive and had to watch the Niners first four games on the sidelines while nursing a knee injury. After practice on Tuesday, Jacobs spoke with the media and declared himself ready to go against the visiting Buffalo Bills in the week five matchup:
I’m ready to play. It’s nothing now, it’s all gone now. There’s a little kinks I’ve got to run out but I feel good. I feel good about my explosiveness, I’ve got fresh legs. I definitely want to go out and get hit. Because once you get that first, nice hit, you feel like you’re ready to go.
Hopefully the 49ers training staff and Jim Harbaugh agrees with Jacobs’ self-assessment of his injury. Remember, Jacobs practiced all last week, on a limited basis, while the team was in Youngstown, Ohio, but he did not suit up for the big win over the Jets last Sunday. The 49ers rushing attack has fared well without Jacobs through the first four games. However, they could use his 6-foot-4, 264-pound frame on short-yardage situations and his explosiveness he displayed in week one and two of the preseason. Jacobs was running 60-yard sprints at Tuesday’s practice with no setbacks. A big test will be at Wednesday’s practice if he can join his teammates on the field on offense and be part of the game plan against the Bills.
Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter have done a great job in short-yard situations this season with Jacobs out. But Niner fans know Gore cannot continue to carry the load all season and with Hunter standing in at 5-foot-7, 199 pounds, he does not provide an option for short-yardage gains you can constantly count on because of his size. Opposing defenses have been stacking the box with eight and sometimes nine defenders in short-yardage situations this season with the 49ers. Jacobs not only provides a solid short-yardage option for the offense, but he can also burst through the line and if he gets out in open space, rush it in for a touchdown. In addition to Gore and Hunter, the 49ers will have three great options at running back should Jacobs be active on Sunday.
Note: In Jacobs’ seven seasons with the New York Giants he only missed 12 games. He has missed four games so far as a Niner.
The hunger in Jacobs grows with each week he does not play:
This is what I do. I play ball for my career. This is my livelihood, and me sitting on the sideline, watching my team win and play well, especially being part of a new organization and a new team, I want to get out there and really be a part of it.