Running back Carlos Hyde on Wednesday practiced for the first time with the 49ers since suffering a concussion Aug. 26 in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Hyde, the nucleus of new coach Chip Kelly’s offense, wore a blue jersey that signals he is to avoid contact. He must pass a simulated contact test to be cleared for Monday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
Hyde’s top backup, Shaun Draughn, was out of the blue jersey he wore for the last two weeks. Draughn was dealing with sore ribs suffered in the preseason opener Aug. 14 against the Houston Texans.
With the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly’s offense was fourth in the league in rushing attempts in 2013 and in the top 11 the next two seasons. That signals a big workload for Hyde, who ended his first two seasons on injured reserve. He sprained an ankle in 2014 and suffered a stress fracture in his foot last season.
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Last year, Hyde also was removed from a Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be checked for a concussion. He was cleared by team doctors but did not re-enter the game.
On the defensive line, three potential starters – Arik Armstead (shoulder), Quinton Dial (knee) and Glenn Dorsey (knee) – have been dealing with injuries. All three went through individual drills, although Dorsey, who tore an ACL in late November, hasn’t been included in full practices. Dial said he did not go through a full practice Wednesday.
Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said those players would be monitored this week. The 49ers have eight defensive linemen on their active roster after adding former Eagles defensive end Taylor Hart this week. The team seems to be following a plan Kelly used at Oregon: collect a deep group of defensive linemen who rotate throughout the game.
“The guys that are (active on game day) are going to play,” O’Neil said.
The 49ers and Rams will submit their first practice reports of the season Thursday.
Et cetera – The Packers signed former 49er Devon Cajuste to their practice squad. Cajuste, who wasn’t drafted coming out of Stanford, played wide receiver for the 49ers during the offseason. The Packers are interested in converting him to tight end.
▪ Cornerback Keith Reaser was rehabilitating an ankle injury on a side field when practice began.
▪ Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley switched his jersey number from 14 to 17. Why? His son, who is playing youth football, is No. 17 this year, he said.