Football fans will not, unfortunately, be treated to a heartwarming story in 2013 regarding the injury and otherworldly recovery of San Francisco rookie Marcus Lattimore. The former South Carolina superstar shredded his knee (he had already rehabbed and returned from one torn ACL) last October against Tennessee. However, his recovery was going well and there was a sliver of hope that he might be able to play for the 49ers at some point this season.
Again, however, don’t expect to see him in an NFL uniform until 2014.
“I can’t foresee him stepping on the field this season,” one source told ESPN.
It is too bad. Lattimore looked fantastic in sprinting up stadium steps and asking “What knee surgery?” in a recent Under Armour commercial.
That being said, the 49ers were the team that selected him in the fourth round for a reason. Loaded with talent, coach Jim Harbaugh’s squad is expected to make a Super Bowl run. It is one of a select few franchises with the running back depth to select the potential superstar and then stash him away for a year to get completely healthy instead of asking him to come back too soon.
Further, with the team’s all-time leader rusher, Frank Gore, having just cracked 30 years of age, there is no way of knowing when we might begin to see a decline in his play. For now, Gore can still shake, juke and bruise while LaMichael James serves as the speedy compliment.
In the future, Lattimore could be the one paired with James coming out of the San Francisco backfield.
He must be totally healthy first, however, and the team is giving him the opportunity to make that happen.