Maybe the only bright spot of this preseason for the San Francisco 49ers, Carlos Hyde is going to get more carries than the rookie initially expected to get as Frank Gore, one of the oldest running backs in the league, is probably going to continue his decline through the 2014 NFL Season.
Gore, who is only 33 yards away from making it to 10,000 career rushing yards, has been one of the more steady and reliable running backs in the NFL since entering the league in 2005. He has rushed for at least 1000 yards in seven out the nine seasons he’s in the league, including 1128 last season that came with nine touchdowns, bringing his career tally to 70 including receiving touchdowns.
But the 49ers offensive line seems to be in some sort of trouble now that Alex Boone is holding out. Gore might be a reliable running back, but a lot of his success came from having excellent blocking in front of him. He averaged a career low 4.1 yards per carry last season and one can expect for that number to go further down when considering his age and everything else.
Hyde is a rookie coming out of Ohio State, a 57th overall pick in the second round of the draft. He had a great senior year for the Buckeyes with over 1500 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He hasn’t gotten a lot of the ball in preseason, but he seems to be fresh and able to make plays regardless of what the offensive line gives him.
The season will start with Gore as the number one back, and Hyde will have to work his way up the ladder. He isn’t the only backup running back for the 49ers who can make some plays. However, if what we’ve been seeing in the preseason isn’t some illusion, it won’t take long for him to eat away at Gore’s carrying numbers and eventually take over.