Could Marcus Lattimore get some practice time this season?

Jason O. Watson

49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore likely won't see action in an NFL game until the 2014 season. However, he could see some practice time this season. We break down how it could work. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Matt Barrows put together a post last night following a Q&A with 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore. In the Q&A, Lattimore indicated he still could get a chance to practice before the season is out.

"I still might get a chance to practice this year, and it might be soon," Lattimore said. "I look forward to it. I'll be head over heels when that happens."
...
Asked what he considers the carrot in relation to the monotonous rehabilitation work he's doing this year, Lattimore said, "I'm working to whenever they put me on the field. It's definitely practicing this year. And maybe playing. I don't know what's going to happen."

Marcus Lattimore is currently on the Non-Football Injury list. It is worth a reminder of the rules for players on the NFI list. Such players are not allowed to practice for the first six weeks of the season. After Week 6, the team has between Week 6 and Week 11 to get the player on the practice field. Once the player hits the practice field, the team then has a three week window in which to get them back on the 53-man roster. If the player is not practicing in that five week window, or does not get activated in that subsequent three week window, they are done for the year, either placed on Injured Reserve or transferred to an end of season NFI list. I'm not quite sure of the specifics on that part of it.

For Lattimore, this means he could get some time on the practice field, and it would not cost the 49ers a roster spot. If the team were to get Lattimore on the practice field, barring an earlier injury, I would be shocked if it was anytime before that final week of the five week window (Week 11). If they get him practicing before that final week, they would then have to shelve him after the three practice weeks. Assuming everybody else is healthy, my guess is the team would just wait until that final week, get him the three weeks of practice, and then shelve him.

We won't get to see much of anything from Lattimore because of the closed nature of team drills, but it would still be cool to get him out there, getting some work in. We'll keep an eye out for that.

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