Making the 49ers Running Backs Fit
Barring some crazy development, Carlos Hyde will be the No. 1 tailback for San Francisco this upcoming season.
His work on the ground will be the primary focus. But in an ideal world, Kyle Shanahan will get something out of Hyde in the passing game as well.
Hyde’s injury history has certainly limited his production across the board. But he did set career highs in both receptions (27) and receiving yards (163) a year ago. Still, this is a far cry from the 54-catch, 462-yard and 31-catch, 421-yard efforts Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman put up in 2016, respectively.
Hyde wasn’t exactly a dynamic receiving threat at Ohio State either, so it might be a stretch to assume Shanahan is suddenly going to work this into Hyde’s game.
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But the thought of running backs involved in the 49ers passing game does explain why the team re-signed journeyman tailback DuJuan Harris to a one-year deal.
Harris led all Niners running backs with 14.4 yards per reception last year. And he was the same in 2015, outside former 49ers fullback Bruce Miller, with 10.8.
Moving forward, we can make a simple prediction — Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will target a running back capable of operating in the aerial attack.