While the San Francisco 49ers get ready for their Week 8 contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars, rookie running back Marcus Lattimore continues his rehab from last year's brutal knee injury. Like the rest of the injured players, Lattimore joined the team on their trip to London. During the trip he conducted a phone interview with The State. He discussed his progress in rehab, his state of mind and getting over 2012 knee injury.
Lattimore is expected to spend the season on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list, but as previously discussed, there is a chance Lattimore could get in some practice time in the next few weeks. The team has three more weeks to get him on the practice field. If they do not get him on the practice field by Week 12, Lattimore will stay on the Reserve/NFI list the rest of the year. If he is able to get back on the practice field, he can participate in practice for up to three weeks. At the end of three weeks, the team would have to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster, or leave him on the Reserve/NFI list for the rest of the season.
Lattimore wants to practice, but he also recognizes the 49ers are looking out for his best interests (and there own, of course). The 49ers have sufficient running back depth that there is no reason to rush back Lattimore. He probably could contribute later this year, but with this depth, the 49ers might as well wait for him to be that much closer to 100 percent (if not completely healthy). He's cool with the 49ers plan, so there is no apparent concern that he is displeased with it.
Obviously it would be nice to know what the team has before next year, but given his talent, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to assume his upside remains. Injury concerns will remain there. Frank Gore overcame his college injury woes to put together a ridiculous NFL career. Lattimore could do that, he could suffer more injuries, or he could end up somewhere in the middle. He was a bit like a lottery ticket that has better odds. Next year we'll start to see if it is on track to pay out.