The San Francisco 49ers may have some fresh legs at running back by mid-season if everything goes to according to plan says fourth-round pick, Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore believes that he will be practicing mid-season for the Niners after a successful Organized Team Activities.
The rookie expects to be put on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list that will sideline him through at least week 6 of the season.
“I’ve been running sprints, got a chance to get in there with the guys a little bit — that felt good. I probably won’t do training camp. And I’m on course with the trainer and the doctor to get a chance to practice mid-season and see what happens.” – Marcus Lattimore
After week 6, the 49ers will have a three week window in which the player can begin practicing, after the player participates in their first practice a second three week window opens to add him to the active 53-man roster. If the player is not activated after that window, he must remain on the PUP for the rest of the regular season.
Lattimore suffered a brutal leg injury on October 27, 2012 against the University of Tennessee that dislocated his knee while tearing three ligaments. Some feared that Lattimore — who had first-round potential — would never play Football again, but the 49ers used one of their surplus of picks to take a flyer on Lattimore in the fourth-round.
San Francisco is not in a position to need another running back at this point, with starting running back Frank Gore coming off a career year, Kendall Hunter is returning from a torn achilles tendon and LaMichael James looks to build on a promising end to his rookie year. But, fresh legs could come in handy for the three-headed monster, especially if an injury to one of those three occurs.
If Lattimore can’t play this year, it will be of no consequence to the 49ers who can focus on getting him ready for the 2014 season where he could potentially be the heir apparent of Frank Gore.