Since being cleared last week to resume practicing, San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore said his knee has ‘held up perfectly.’ Lattimore is working his way back from tearing three ligaments in his right knee in October 2012.
Lattimore will not play this season, but he can continue practicing with the 49ers until next week. The team will then have to place him on injured reserve. He is mostly receiving work with the scout team during practice.
The 49ers selected Lattimore out of South Carolina in the fourth round, with the 131st overall pick, of this year’s draft. The team committed to the running back despite knowing he wouldn’t be available for the 2013 season. There is a already a logjam at running back with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon vying for action on the field. James and Dixon have openly complained about a lack of playing time this season. With the 49ers committed to Lattimore, one or two of the running backs on the active roster could be gone after this season.
Both in 2011 and 2012, Lattimore tore knee ligaments that ended promising seasons. He gained 818 and 662 rushing respectively in each of those seasons. In his only full season played in college, he rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns, and added 29 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns. So you can see why the 49ers are so excited about and committed to a running back that hasn’t played in over a year.