The San Francisco 49ers drafted running back Marcus Lattimore with an eye on the future. The team hopes that when Lattimore’s knee is healthy and he’s ready to help them on the field, he can make a significant contribution to the offense. This past week, the 49ers got a look at where Lattimore stands in his recovery. Lattimore underwent a medical examination at Stanford on Thursday and the results appeared to be positive.
“Everything looks good structurally with all the guys that we drafted,” said head coach Jim Harbaugh. “The ACL looks really good for Marcus. We have to take a step back in terms of some of the cutting because we want that inside of the knee, the lateral side of the knee, to heal fully”
The 49ers will bring Lattimore along slowly. He has not yet been clear for any on the field activities but that should come as no surprise at this point in his rehab. Because his injury did not occur while he was in the NFL, Lattimore can begin the season the non-football injury list. The 49ers understand that he will probably sit out the entire 2013 season and be someone who would compete for carries in 2014.
“I think that would be fine,” Lattimore said. “Whatever happens these next three months probably will determine that. I’m going to continue to keep working hard, and if I’m called upon, I feel like I’ll be ready.”
The 49ers will continue to be cautious. Lattimore is a long term investment for the franchise and Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James are already in the fold for 2013. San Francisco’s deep backfield is a perfect place for the recovering runner to be.