San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed today that running back Marcus Lattimore would join the team’s practice next week. There is no plan to play the fourth round pick, but they will have him practice for three weeks with the team as he continues to work to come back from the brutal knee injury that ended his career at South Carolina.
The 49ers had a plan in place for Lattimore as they really did not need him to play this year with their depth at the position for this year, so they opted to take a small risk on him and allow him to focus on his recovery for this season. They did the same thing with Tank Carradine, a second round pick who suffered an ACL tear in last regular season game of his senior year. Between their stacked roster and their ability to compile picks, they had the flexibility to bet on their immense talent for the future.
There is no telling how much longer Frank Gore will be able to play and they still have LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon, so they will have a great competition for carries next year. It is unclear if he can reclaim the physical ability he had in college but Lattimore has been thought of as a franchise back since he arrived in Columbia and if he can get back to that level, the 49ers will continue to have a terrific running game. Getting on the practice field is another important step forward for Lattimore.