- UPDATE: Odell Beckham Jr. wins Madden Cover
- NFL defense contracts tell sad tale of greed
- Clippers dominate 3rd quarter, beat Rockets, 128-95
- Lakers should hold off on max offer sheet to Jimmy Butler
- NFL Draft 2015: Rumors swirl as Day 1 nears
- Josh Hamilton trade: Angels GM says moving on was in team’s ‘best interest’
- Lou Holtz retires: Hopefully shows shift at ESPN
- Anquan Boldin on Colin Kaepernick: ‘Trust your skills’
- NFL trade rumors: Titans Willing to trade No.2 Pick?
- Nick Young injury: Lakers forward likely done for season
49ers should not play Marcus Lattimore in 2013
- Updated: July 1, 2013
Just because San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore wants to play in 2013 doesn’t mean the team should be any more compelled to do so. The former South Carolina star says he probably won’t take part in the team’s training camp, but the 49ers should definitely consider keeping him out for even more time.
Back in October 2012, Lattimore suffered a severe injury that forced him to have major right knee reconstructive surgery. Already back on his feet and taking part in some light drills, he proclaimed that he would be ready for the start of the season before the 2013 NFL Draft.
At least that was before the 49ers selected him in the fourth round.
It is clear that the 49ers are not in dire need of Lattimore’s services this season. Although he is racking up years and mileage as a feature back, Frank Gore is still a great option with a defined role in the team’s running game. Kendall Hunter grew as a running back and complement to Gore’s running style. A rookie last season, LaMichael James was an explosive weapon once he started to get more carries in the second half of the season.
While he could possibly be an asset in select situations when healthy, it is not worth risking Lattimore’s long-term value for a team that has several capable backs at their disposal. The 49ers will likely place him on the PUP list, making him inactive for the first six games of the season. From there, the team could later reevaluate his health.
It is sometimes rare nowadays to find top-notch players willing to sit out an entire season, regardless of their situation. With Lattimore saying that he’s “fine” with sticking to whatever timetable given to him, the 49ers have a player who understands his role, understand his injury status and recognizes the smart decisions made by the team executives.
Part of the reason why San Francisco was a great location for Lattimore was because of their depth at the position. Now the 49ers should let him focus on his rehabilitation to be a key asset for the 2014 season.
Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports
Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
Latest posts by Austin Chang (see all)
- NFC West Week 4 roundup: 49ers dominate Rams, Seahawks win in overtime - September 30, 2013
- NFC West Week 3 roundup: Seahawks only bright spot in poor showing by division - September 23, 2013
- What will Trent Richardson do in Colts debut against 49ers? - September 22, 2013