Marcus Lattimore is fully recovered, wants significant playing time
In 2012 while at South Carolina, San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore suffered a devastating knee injury. He went from being one of the best backs in the nation, to wondering if he would every play football again.
The injury ended Lattimore’s college career, but the 49ers took a flyer on him, drafting him in the fourth round last year. He sat out his rookie season, but now hopes to prove to coach Jim Harbaugh that not only is he ready to go, but that he deserves significant playing time.
Lattimore is currently fourth on the Niners’ depth chart in a crowded backfield that includes Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. However, there are reports that the 49ers have don’t have long-term interest in LaMichael James, and if that turns out to be the case Lattimore would become the third running back.
“After my injury, I just wanted to walk again,” Lattimore said. “It was tough, very tough. We’re a playoff team, so we play 20-plus games. Being on that sideline, we got so close to the Super Bowl title the last three years.”
Regarding the possible departure of James:
“If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot,” Lattimore said. “But I’ve just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I’ve got to show that.”
If Lattimore can get back to his pre-injury level, there’s no doubt he could make a significant impact for the 49ers. Frank Gore’s career is winding down, and Hunter isn’t seen as an every down back. If Lattimore earns playing time and has a good season, he may find himself in line to supplant Gore in a couple years.
I, for one, am rooting for him 100%.