San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Friday afternoon, and he had a brief update on the status of running back Marcus Lattimore and offensive lineman Luke Marquardt. Harbaugh indicated that he would like to get both players on the practice field next Tuesday. Both players are on the Non-Football Injury list. If they do not get back on the practice field by next Tuesday, they must be moved to Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season.
Lattimore indicated last week that he hoped and somewhat expected to be activated to practice. Lattimore would be able to practice for three weeks, after which the team would have to decide whether to shelve him for the rest of the season, or activate him to the 53-man roster. Harbaugh was asked whether Lattimore could play if a scenario emerged where he was needed. Harbaugh simply said, "That's not the plan. So, don't anticipate that."
As to Marquardt, Harbaugh said he would like to see him on the practice field, but he did not anticipate full practices for the rookie lineman:
"Yeah, some form or fashion. Like to see that. Wouldn't say practice yet, but there will be some kind of participation."
Harbaugh did not clarify beyond that. It would seem like his foot is not quite at the point where he can go through all the normal drills.
Both players are along the lines of lottery tickets. Both are coming off injuries, but I think we can all agree the current odds for Marquardt emerging are relatively long. He played at Division II Azusa Pacific, and was signed as an undrafted free agent. He very well could emerge as an NFL-caliber offensive lineman, but to assume the 49ers get anything out of him at this point would be mostly guess work.
Lattimore on the other hand has a solid body of work behind him. He remains a lottery ticket because of the devastating knee injuries, but he has come to arguably the most ideal situation possible. He gets a full season to rehab his knee and he gets to learn from one of the best running backs in the league, who also went through knee surgeries in college.