When San Francisco 49ers RB Kendall Hunter injured his right knee (apparent) just a few feet away from where I was standing, it looked like his leg had buckled. An injury that occurred as Hunter tried to cut back against the grain while evading CB Perrish Cox along the right sideline, he dropped in a hurry only to get up under his own power shortly after while walking gingerly back to the locker room with head trainer Jeff Ferguson.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) July 25, 2014
An injury bug that has hit Hunter hard since being drafted by the team back in 2011 as he suffered a torn Achilles in a November 25, 2012 away game against the New Orleans Saints, Hunter will now be on the outside looking in and in my opinion opening the door for rookie second-round pick RB Carlos Hyde.
Hyde who had hands of stone on Thursday’s practice bounced back in a big way on Friday as he hauled in two catches. Hyde told me that he believes he’s the best player on the football field but assured me it wasn’t in an “arrogant way.” And with Hunter now likely to be out for some extended period of time that leaves Hyde as the “next man up!” And if you’re wondering why not last year’s fourth-round pick RB Marcus Lattimore, well he’s still “working through” some things as he recovers from a torn ACL.
And if you’re now asking why not RB LaMichael James? Let’s put it this way, you don’t draft a rookie in the second-round to have him ride the pine! James for one reason or another isn’t seeing the backfield much thus far and I don’t think that will change as Hyde will likely garner that primary backup role.
With training camp to begin day three later this afternoon we will keep you updated on the extent of Hunter’s injury and how that affects the team moving forward.