The 49ers want to make sure hard-running Carlos Hyde is as fresh as possible on Sundays, so he might not practice much on Wednesdays or perhaps even Thursdays and Fridays this season. Hyde, who ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing with 375 yards, sat out Wednesday’s practice because of a sore foot. He had a light practice Thursday and was listed as a “limited” participant.
Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, who spent five seasons on the Carolina Panthers’ staff before joining the 49ers, on Thursday likened Hyde’s scenario to that of Panthers tailback Jonathan Stewart, another big, physical runner.
Early in his career, Stewart rarely practiced during the week as he dealt with Achilles’ and foot ailments. But he also didn’t miss a game during his first two seasons, including 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns as a second-year player in 2009.
7th Carlos Hyde’s NFL ranking in rushing yards (375)
Chryst was asked if Hyde will play Sunday.
“I can’t say that one way or another,” he responded. “I can only go back to the point of reference that I have. Jonathan Stewart didn’t do a whole lot during the week and played great on Sunday. So I would expect the same out of Carlos. That’s what Carlos wants to do.”
That implies Hyde will be well enough to face the Baltimore Ravens. If he’s not, the 49ers will have only two healthy runners on their 53-man roster, rookies Mike Davis and Jarryd Hayne. Veteran Reggie Bush is dealing with a calf strain.
Hyde missed two games last season because of an ankle injury. He was held out of the second half of a Week 2 loss to the Steelers this year after he was checked for a concussion and cleared. On Sunday, he collided with the Giants’ Jon Beason so hard that the linebacker left the game because of a concussion.
“That first collision he had on the first drive with Jon Beason,” Chryst said, “you can see how physical he is. So as the course of the season goes on, you want to make sure he’s as fresh as possible on game day.”
Brooks is back – Ahmad Brooks was on hand for practice Thursday, his first since the passing of his sister last week. Brooks missed last Sunday’s game against the Giants to be with his family and attended his sister’s funeral on Wednesday in Louisiana.
The 49ers missed the outside linebacker in the loss. His backups, Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold, didn’t record a tackle or even a quarterback hit in the game. Defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie also lined up at outside linebacker with little effect.
Brooks was listed as limited in practice because of a shoulder injury.