Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers haven't ruled out placing Carlos Hyde on injured reserve

At 3-8, there's a chance Carlos Hyde does not return to the 49ers this season.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - If running back Carlos Hyde doesn't play Sunday, it will be his fifth straight game missed because of the stress fracture in his left foot.

Jim Tomsula said the 49ers haven't ruled out shutting Hyde down for the season, allowing his foot to heal on its own or to have surgery to help the healing process. With their record at 3-8 and the playoffs virtually out of the picture, the 49ers might be wise to keep Hyde sidelined to prevent making the injury worse.

"All of that's been on the table since the beginning," Tomsula said when asked if Hyde might get shut down for the year. "I listen to the doctors and the medical staff on where we need to go with that and what's the best course of action."

Hyde hasn't practiced since last playing Oct. 22 against the Seahawks when the stress fracture was initially revealed. He sustained the injury in the loss Oct. 11 to the New York Giants.

In Hyde's absence, journeyman running back Shaun Draughn has filled in admirably, considering he was picked up after being released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this season.

In three games, Draughn has 259 all-purpose yards. In Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, Draughn played every offensive snap, running for 51 yards on 15 carries, adding 35 yards receiving on five catches.

"He's sturdy and he's running well, he's running hard," Tomsula said of Draughn. "His pass protection this past week I thought was really good. So he's doing everything (like) an every down back."

With Garrett Celek suffering an ankle injury in last week's game, the 49ers might need an open roster spot to find an extra tight end. They currently have two healthy ones on the roster, Vance McDonald and Blake Bell, in addition to Brian Leonhardt, who would be a candidate for a promotion from the practice squad.


Niners Digest Top Stories