SANTA CLARA -- Not only are the 49ers going into Sunday’s game with a new starting quarterback, they’ll have a new trio of running backs as well.
Carlos Hyde (foot) and Mike Davis (hand) already have been ruled out of the game. With Reggie Bush (knee) on injured reserve and Jarry Hayne on the practice squad, that means the team’s running backs against the Falcons will be Kendall Gaskins, Shaun Draughn and Pierre Thomas, none of whom were on the active roster last Friday.
“I’m excited to play, I’m excited to go,” said Thomas, who hasn’t played since December when he was with the Saints. “I said, ‘I’ve got to learn this system as fast as possible because when I get out there, I’m not going to mes up. I’m going to make this 49ers family proud of bringing me in.”
Beyond that, the 49ers also have issues at cornerback. One starter, Kenneth Acker, didn’t practice this week after being diagnosed Tuesday with a concussion that was not identified when it happened Sunday. Acker left the game with what doctors thought was a shoulder or chest injury and returned to the contest.
When he complained he didn’t feel well Tuesday, team doctors diagnosed a concussion.
The team’s other starter, Tramaine Brock, has a shin bruise and was limited in practice all week. The top backup at the position, Keith Reaser, has a sprained ankle and also was limited in Thursday’s and Friday’s session.
That leaves Dontae Johnson as the only healthy backup, although Jimmie Ward could play cornerback in a pinch. The Falcons, meanwhile, boast the league’s top receiver in Julio Jones and the NFC’s most prolific passer in Matt Ryan.
Out: RB Mike Davis (hand), RB Carlos Hyde (foot), S L.J. McCray (knee)
Doubtful: WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring)
Questionable: CB Kenneth Acker (chest, concussion), CB Tramaine Brock (shin), TE Garrett Celek (concussion), CB Keith Reaser (ankle)
Probable: G Alex Boone (knee), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), P Bradley Pinion (right calf), S Eric Reid (chest), T Joe Staley (shoulder)
Out: CB Robert Alford (groin), LB Justin Durant (calf), WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), S William Moore (groin)
Questionable: LB Vic Beasley (foot)
Probable: DT Jonathan Babineaux (not injury related), DE Tyson Jackson (ribs), C Mike Person (ankle), G James Stone (calf), CB Desmond Trufant (back), WR Nick Williams (hamstring)