While Jeff Wilson was the SF 49ers’ hottest rushing storyline in Week 7 against the Patriots, JaMycal Hasty is also becoming a great storyline.
After the Niners’ Week 7 starter against the New England Patriots, Jeff Wilson, suffered a high-ankle sprain after rushing for 112 yards and three touchdowns, Shanahan might not have another choice. Hasty could be in for a much more prominent role by default.
But that’s not a bad thing.
Granted, Wilson was one of the primary reasons behind San Francisco’s one-sided 33-6 drubbing of the Pats at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Yet overlooking Hasty might be rather unwise, particularly for Shanahan’s run-first offense.
All the undrafted rookie did against a Patriots defense that was allowing only 4.2 rush yards per attempt entering Week 7 was to run for 57 yards on nine carries, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Not bad for a player who saw a career-high best in numbers on a budding career.
Hasty’s performance prompted the CBS Sports broadcasting crew of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to compare the rookie to the one-and-only running back, Marshawn Lynch. That surely will have to make Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn feel good, right?
Hasty flashed those quick-juke moves, an ability to make multiple cuts to force defenders to miss. And with his squatty 5-foot-8, 205-pound frame, he’s quite a tough tackle, too, with some exceptional burst.
For fans wanting to see more of the former Baylor Bear, that time might be coming sooner than later.
SF 49ers may be forced to play JaMycal Hasty more in Week 8 and beyond
San Francisco lost Wilson to his injury in the third quarter, and he was already filling in for two other injured SF 49ers tailbacks, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, who are both shelved on short-term injured reserve.
Currently, without any roster moves, that would leave both Hasty and veteran running back Jerick McKinnon as the Niners’ only two healthy tailbacks heading into the team’s Week 8 road matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Coleman appears poised to return sooner than Mostert, while it seems like Shanahan and Co. would make a corresponding roster move to guard against Wilson likely landing on IR, too.
The question will then be where Hasty would fall into the pecking order, both now and over the long run. Shanahan tried to rest McKinnon in Week 7, giving him only three carries and then only after Wilson’s injury exit. So, perhaps, that would indicate Hasty could end up being the starter for Week 8 against Seattle.
But things get trickier to figure out when Mostert, Coleman and Wilson all return from injury. One could make the argument Hasty offers more than Coleman does at this point in the latter’s career, although Shanahan’s affinity for his established players carries weight.
San Francisco won’t carry five halfbacks on its roster, though, and it might be far too late for Hasty to be stashed back on the practice squad.
Either way, it’s a good problem for Shanahan and the SF 49ers to have, and Hasty could be the player who winds up pushing another older veteran off the Niners roster, potentially sooner than later.