Fooch's Update: The 49ers made the moves official.
The San Francisco 49ers decision to waive LaMichael James leaves them with two running backs on the 53-man roster. Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde handled the bulk of the carries on Sunday, with James getting two additional carries. Head coach Jim Harbaugh told the press the team would sign Kassim Osgood, and according to Pro Football Talk, that has indeed happened.
As soon as word got out that James was out the door, people were asking if it was a good sign about the status of Marcus Lattimore. People were asking if this meant he was going to be activated soon. First things first: NO, this does not mean Marcus Lattimore will be activated between now and Week 6 because the 49ers cannot activate him between now and Week 6. Lattimore is on the Reserve/NFI list, which means he cannot be activated until after Week 6.
The decision to bring back Osgood is not surprising, but it does still leave the team short a running back. They are down to Gore and Hyde, along with fullback Bruce Miller. I suppose the 49ers could roll the dice with two healthy running backs, but I would be shocked if they welcomed the Chicago Bears to town with just those two running backs.
The 49ers currently have Kendall Gaskins on their practice squad. Gaskins signed with the Buffalo Bills as a UDFA in 2013, and has bounced around a few practice squads since then. My guess is the team is more likely to sign a veteran who can offer some deep insurance. There are a host of random running backs on the market. Former 49er Jewel Hampton is always an option, but among veterans with real NFL experience, there are guys like Michael Bush, Tashard Choice, James Wilder, Daryl Richardson, and Ryan Williams. The 49ers could sign someone from a practice squad (like Williams), or they could look for a street free agent. I have to think we see an addition at some point this week.