Why 49ers’ RB Jarryd Hayne Will Replace Kendall Hunter On 53-Man Roster



So I am just going to be a man and admit I was wrong about San Francisco 49ers rookie RB Jarryd Hayne not making the 53-man roster. Yes, I said that he wouldn’t crack the roster due to the depth the team already invested in the position, but with two preseason games under his belt, I believe he not only solidified his spot on the team but will become the team’s primary punt-returner Week 1.

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However, someone has to be the odd man out, and it seems now that the likely casualty will be fifth-year RB Kendall Hunter. Unfortunately for Hunter he’s had a string of bad luck regarding the injury-bug. From a partially torn left Achilles in 2013 to a torn ACL in last year’s training camp, Hunter has been hampered by injuries which has greatly diminished his value. Not to mention, the team invested a fourth-round pick on RB Mike Davis, I believe it will be Hunter who will be the one to get released.

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Hayne has been arguably the team’s most explosive player when he touches the ball this preseason. From breaking tackles with his agility to warding off defensive backs with strong stiff-arms, the Hayne Train is in full effect as he appears poised to make a splash his rookie season.

#49ers RB Jarryd Hayne is off to the races with this 53-yard run vs Texans! Like this video if you think he will make the team!

A video posted by Ryan Sakamoto ? (@sakamotoryan_) on

In his first preseason game against the Houston Texans, Hayne not only proved his worth in the return game but also displayed his running back skill set with a team-high 53-yard run.

#49ers RB Jarryd Hayne BREAKS ANKLES on this punt return! LIKE if you think he will make the team… A video posted by Ryan Sakamoto ? (@sakamotoryan_) on

Fast forward to today and Hayne once again proved his worth as he led the team with a team-high 54 rushing yards on eight carries while returning three punts for 84 yards (28.0 average). A true home-run threat every time he touches the ball, I would be shocked if he doesn’t make the team mainly because of his value in the return-game.

No longer will Forever Faithful see WR Kyle Williams back there fair-catching punt after punt as Hayne is a different breed, while being called ‘fearless’ by 49ers special-teams coach Thomas McGaughey.

With the 49ers preparing to work their magic on the 53-man roster, I can assure you that Hayne is already a lock, as his potential and ceiling are too good to pass up.


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.