SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers reached an injury settlement with Kendall Hunter, a deal that cuts ties with the four-year running back but would allow the team to re-sign him later in the season.
Hunter, 27, suffered an ACL injury early in the 2014 training camp. While he seemed poised for a comeback during spring drills, he was late to join the team in training camp and looked tentative in his preseason carries.
"It’s not quite right yet," Jim Tomsula said earlier this month of Hunter’s knee.
The 49ers initially put Hunter on injured reserve, and if he had remained on that list he would not have been able to play this season. The injury settlement means the 49ers would have to wait six weeks beyond the negotiated terms of the settlement before re-signing him.
Hunter was Frank Gore's primary backup from 2011-13 and he gained 1,202 yards and had a 4.6-yard average over that span.
The 49ers' top backup this year, Reggie Bush, did not practice Thursday because of a calf strain. That means rookies Jarryd Hayne and Mike Davis will back up starter Carlos Hyde against the Steelers.