SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The time might be coming for a final decision regarding Carlos Hyde's injured left foot.
The 49ers are in need of roster spots after Garrett Celek suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals and Daniel Kilgore's eventual return, if the coaching staff elects to bring him back with the deadline looming next Monday.
Hyde, who hasn't practiced since last playing on the injury Oct. 22 against the Seahawks, would be an obvious candidate for injured reserve, allowing the 49ers to add one of their two practice squad tight ends, Brian Leonhardt and Jamie Childers, to the active roster to replace Celek, who was wearing a walking boot and using crutches in the locker room Wednesday.
"We’re in a gray area there when it comes to Carlos and his foot," head coach Jim Tomsula said Thursday. "...But those discussions do happen. I’m not going to talk about them here. That’s what we’re doing."
With the bye week, Hyde hasn't practiced or played in 42 days since getting sidelined with a stress fracture. And at 3-8, with the playoffs out of the picture, there doesn't seem to be a need to get Hyde back on the field at any point over the remaining five games.
It might behoove the 49ers to get Hyde healthy and ready to begin the offseason, whether or not he needs surgery to expedite the healing process.
Kilgore said Wednesday he's ready to go and he's awaiting a decision from the coaching staff. Even if he isn't inserted into the starting lineup right away, Kilgore said he would like to get some work in this season to build off of after missing all of last offseason to rehab his fractured lower leg.
"It’s been over a year now. I’ve been doing all this training. I’d like to do something. I don’t want to do all this training for nothing. Go out there and see what I can do and build off it this offseason," Kilgore said.
The 49ers likely haven't made any roster decisions officials this week because they don't want to tip their hands to the Bears ahead of Sunday's game. That means if and when the team does add players to the active roster, it will likely happen Saturday.