SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers have waived running back and punt return specialist Jarryd Hayne a day ahead of Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. In turn, they promoted running back Kendall Gaskins from the practice squad after starter Carlos Hyde was ruled out of Sunday's game because of a foot injury.
Hayne was made inactive for the first time in last week's 20-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after fumbling during a punt return in the previous week's win over the Ravens. It was Hayne's third fumble of the season, inclduing his muffed punt return on his first ever attempt in the opening win against the Vikings.
For the year, Hayne was averaging 9.5 yards on eight punt returns after exploding on to the scene in the preseason, when he averaged 18.1 yards. On the San Francisco's last-ranked offense in both yardage and scoring, Hayne registered 25 yards on eight carries. His longest run was nine yards.
Hayne has the NFL's fifth-best selling jersey, according to the league's website, from a period between Sept. 9 and Sept. 21. His agent Jack Bechta took to twitter to address his client's immediate future, writing, "Jarryd will most likely be back to work on Mon or Tues either with the Niners or another team. he has to clear waivers now over next 48 hrs."
With Hyde's injury, the 49ers likely prefer Gaskins as a contributor on offense. Gaskins scored 38 touchdowns collegiately at the University of Richmond, and Reggie Bush has taken over as the team's primary punt returner.
"I mean, we can say that, but we’ve got a few guys that we’re rolling through there. Reggie is definitely one of those guys,” head coach Jim Tomsula said Friday.
With Hyde out, Gaskins joins Bush and rookie fourth-round pick Mike Davis as the team's available running backs. Averaging 110.1 yards rushing per game, San Francisco's ground attack ranks 17th in the NFL. Gaskins will wear No. 30.
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.
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