SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Jarryd Hayne will suit up for the 49ers in Monday night's season opener against the Vikings after all.
The former Australian Rugby League (AFL) star burst onto the scene in the preseason, averaging 18.1 yards on nine punt returns for San Francisco in the preseason.
49ers head coach Jim Tomsula and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. were noncommittal about Hayne's status during the week when getting peppered with questions about their new running back.
"In Jarryd’s situation, just like everybody that is a first-year player here, you’re into game preparation now, so you’ve got that aspect of it," Tomsula said Thursday. "But, we’ve also got to stay on the development side of it. There has to be those techniques, those fundamentals, the developing that has to stay on course, has to stay on point. And we have got to stay on that road."
How much Hayne plays against Minnesota remains to be seen. In addition to his exciting returns, he finished as the preseason's second leading rusher with, finishing with 175 yards on 25 carries. His 7.0-yard average was the best in the NFL.
"Obviously, Jarryd has got the body position, the balance, the leverage points and all those things that he has. That’s proven, he has those," said Tomsula. "But now, how to use them and when to use them. Blocking, pass protections, he’s done a great job. Where he was to where he is, is terrific. I guess that’s why I temper all this speculation because I don’t want to take anything away from what the man has achieved."
The 49ers enter their regular season slate as one of the league's healthiest teams. Cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring) was the only player listed on the team's practice report, and is expected to start against the Vikings.
Here are the other 49ers inactives:
Quick thoughts: The 49ers are going with Quinton Patton over White, despite White's strong showing the in preseason. Hayne's status means he'll be the third half back instead of Davis. Wright started the first preseason game, but gave way to Kenneth Acker and Keith Reaser pretty quickly. By keeping Blake Bell active, San Francisco has four tight ends available. First-round pick Arik Armstead will make his NFL debut. Ian Silberman and Trent Brown will be the only reserve offensive lineman active.
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
E-mail Niners Digest: NinersDigest@gmail.com