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Injuries ravage 49ers’ running game

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The Sports Xchange

The San Francisco 49ers played Sunday’s 27-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams without starting running back Carlos Hyde, which wasn’t surprising in that the club’s leading rusher hadn’t practiced because of a stress fracture in his left foot.

Then again, Hyde started and carried 11 times just 10 days earlier against the Seattle Seahawks with the same injury.

No aggravation of the injury was reported afterward.

Hyde’s appearance against Seattle had been explained as being critical to the 49ers’ chances in what at the time was considered a must-win game. 49ers coach Jim Tomsula also said the club’s medical staff had cleared Hyde to play.

A 20-3 loss to Seattle dropped the 49ers, by most accounts, out of playoff contention.

So while no formal explanation (other than he once again hadn’t practiced) was given as to why Hyde wouldn’t play against the Rams, the obvious conclusion was that the game wasn’t as important as the Seattle game.

And now, one more loss into a lost season, you have to wonder if Hyde will play again. Clearly, each game will get more and more meaningless as the season approaches it end.

The 49ers’ running back situation went from bad to worse Sunday when Reggie Bush injured his left knee when he slipped after being pushed out of bounds on a punt return late in the first quarter.

Bush never returned to the game.

Turns out, the NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reported the oft-injured veteran suffered a torn MCL, and now his season is over.

The 49ers had entered the game without Hyde (stress fracture), which prompted reporters to ask Tomsula why he’d risked his top healthy back on punt returns.

“We were trying to win the game.” he explained. “And, Reggie came here as a running back and a punt returner, and that’s what we were doing.”

The 49ers later lost their third-string back, Mike Davis, to a broken hand, leaving Kendall Gaskins, promoted earlier in the week from the practice squad, as the only healthy back.

Gaskins wound up rushing five times for six yards.

–One of the reasons the 49ers had found themselves a bit short-handed at running back Sunday was that they’d released Jarryd Hayne in order to create a roster spot for Gaskins.

The former rugby star cleared waivers, and the 49ers announced Monday evening that they had signed Hayne to the practice squad.

Hayne, a rookie, had totaled 25 yards on eight carries earlier this season. His primary use had been as a punt returner.

Also on Monday, the 49ers announced the signing of five-year veteran back Shaun Draughn, who played most recently for Cleveland.

Draughn, who has played a total of 35 NFL games for seven teams, has totaled 264 yards and two touchdowns on 75 rushes in his career.

NOTES: WR Anquan Boldin was inactive for Sunday’s game against St. Louis because of a hamstring injury. The 49ers’ leading receiver likely will return for the Week 9 game against Atlanta. … TE Vance McDonald likely will replace TE Vernon Davis, who was traded to Denver on Monday, as the 49ers’ starting tight end. McDonald had one catch for 13 yards in Sunday’s loss to St. Louis. … DB Keith Reaser suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to St. Louis. 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said Monday the injury is not considered serious, and it is likely Reaser will be able to play this week against Atlanta. … DB Kenneth Acker hurt his ribs and shoulder in a hard hit during Sunday’s loss to the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers hope to have Acker back at practice this week leading into the club’s Week 9 game against Atlanta. … S L.J. McCray injured his knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss at St. Louis. McCray will have an MRI exam before it’s determined if he’ll be able to practice this week leading into the Week 9 game against Atlanta. … P Bradley Pinion suffered a calf injury in Sunday’s loss at St. Louis. The rookie had to be replaced by K Phil Dawson for one punt. The injury is not considered serious.


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