Carlos Hyde is a surprise scratch from Sunday’s 49ers game in St. Louis after the team’s medical staff ruled he wouldn’t be ready to play.
The team’s workhorse running back suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in the third quarter of the 49ers’ 30-27 loss to the Giants on Oct. 11. He continued to play in that game and started the next two. But the injury clearly bothered him, especially when he planted firmly on the foot Oct. 18 against the Ravens and went down in a heap.
Hyde said after the Baltimore game that he didn’t expect the pain to be so severe.
“It just shocked me how bad it hurt when I tried to put too much weight on it, and I just went down,” he said.
The injury occurred on an artificial surface; Sunday’s contest would be Hyde’s first on one since the Giants game.
Orthopedists said this week that Hyde’s injury, to the side of his foot, likely would heal on its own if he stayed off the foot for an extended period. The 49ers have two more games until their bye week. If Hyde skips the next two contests – at the Rams and home against the Falcons – he will have a month between his last game – Oct. 22 against the Seahawks – and his next game, Nov. 22 against the Seahawks.
Orthopedists said this would not be a long enough span for the fracture to heal on its own but that he could experience some relief from the pain.
Hyde is the 49ers’ leading rusher, and he ranks ninth in the NFL with 470 yards. He’s quickly earned a reputation as one of the hardest runners in the league, and Rams players this week said he ran with power despite the injury.
When James Laurinaitis was asked if he’s seen a difference in Hyde since the Giants game, the Rams linebacker said: “Maybe a little bit. He still seems to have a good burst initially. Maybe it’s the change-of-direction stuff, the lateral stuff, that probably is a lot harder (on the foot) than just going straight forward.”
Without Hyde, the 49ers likely will use Mike Davis, Reggie Bush and Jarryd Hayne at tailback. Davis, who is averaging just 1.3 yards per carry, got all of the rushing attempts when Hyde was being checked for a concussion during the second half against Pittsburgh in Week 2, although Bush was injured for that game.
Hyde had stayed off the foot as much as possible during the week and played on game days. That seemed to be the same course of action this week as well, as Hyde was on an exercise bike at the beginning of practices.
“He’s got all his assignments, in all the meetings, the walkthroughs, the practice,” coach Jim Tomsula said of Hyde on Friday morning before practice. “He’s doing all those things. And then the medical staff is just letting me know that it could go all the way up to game time. So we just prepare like we’re ready to go and all the other guys are ready to go, and that’s just how we’re working through our business.”
Hyde will not travel with the team to St. Louis. He’ll stay in Santa Clara and receive treatment on the foot. He missed two games last season with an ankle injury while serving as Frank Gore’s backup.
Boldin says he’ll play – Anquan Boldin, listed as questionable, said he’ll play Sunday against the Rams.
“Oh, there ain’t no doubt in my mind,” the veteran wide receiver said.
Tomsula on Friday said Boldin felt his hamstring, which he originally injured Oct. 18 against Baltimore, tighten during Thursday’s practice and that the veteran did not participate in Friday’s session. Boldin said the issue was more related to the alignment of his body and that he felt similarly before last week’s game against the Seahawks.
He didn’t start that game but played 87 percent of the offensive snaps and finished with three catches for 39 yards.
Boldin hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2011 season, when he was with the Ravens. He sat out the regular-season finale as the Ravens held out some of their veteran playmakers before the playoffs. He’s played in 46 consecutive games, including playoffs, since then.
York speaks – Owner Jed York indicated Friday he doesn’t want to be a distraction to Tomsula and his staff as they prepare to face the Rams and declined to discuss the state of the franchise. The team’s CEO said he would address the media at a more appropriate point.
Reporters crossed paths with York as they were leaving the open portion of practice. York’s team is 2-5, ranks at the bottom of the league in several categories and is last in the NFC West.
Fans and media have focused their anger on York, who parted ways with popular coach Jim Harbaugh after last season. York, along with general manager Trent Baalke, led the effort to find Harbaugh’s replacement and chose Tomsula. York hasn’t spoken publicly since the spring and has been criticized recently for his lack of visibility.
York has had a good excuse in recent days. His wife, Danielle, gave birth to their second child, a son named Brixton, on Oct. 23. York said Danielle went into labor at Levi’s Stadium during the team’s 20-3 loss to the Seahawks.
Et cetera – Tony Jerod-Eddie was back at practice Friday after missing the previous two days because of a personal matter. Tomsula said the defensive lineman would be full go for Sunday despite missing some practice. “Tony’s a very smart vet,” he said.
▪ No 49ers were fined from last week’s game against the Seahawks. Wide receiver Quinton Patton was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct involving an official.
▪ Linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks, both of whom are dealing with shoulder injuries, are listed as probable. So is safety Eric Reid, who has a chest injury.