It will be a miracle if San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore is ever able to come close to living up to his potential, but he’d likely settle on a career that just allows him to step onto an NFL field at some point. Lattimore was as explosive and dynamic a back in college football as there’s been in recent years. But after a series of season-ending knee injuries, his NFL career is being put on hold for at least the first-half of this season.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Lattimore will begin the season on the PUP list, making him ineligible for at least the first six games:
Jim Harbaugh says Marcus Lattimore will start season on PUP. He’ll miss 6 games at least, keeps the door open on (unlikely) return in 2013
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2013
Lattimore was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Entering his junior season, he was regarded as perhaps the most NFL-ready college prospect at his position. He was the National Freshman of the Year and a Walter Camp All-American second team and first-team All-SEC performer as a true freshman in 2010 after rushing for 1,197 yards and 17 scores his first year on campus.
Lattimore started his sophomore season strong, but suffered a season-ending torn left ACL against Mississippi State. Lattimore came back strong in 2012, and was having an impressive season, until a game against Tennessee in which he suffered a serious knee injury that ultimately would end his college career, and has put his NFL Career on hold until further notice.