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Unlike Carlos Hyde, 49ers need to see Daniel Kilgore before the season ends

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The 49ers need to see Kilgore to determine if the center position is a need or not.

On Saturday, I wrote about how the San Francisco 49ers should place running back Carlos Hyde on injured reserve. Hyde is a known commodity and the 49ers really shouldn't risk a significant foot injury by trying to play him at some point this season. It's just not a smart move.

But there is another player who keeps appearing in the weekly injury news that I desperately want to see sooner rather than later: Daniel Kilgore.

Last year, before sustaining his season-ending injury, I thought Kilgore was playing better than any offensive lineman on the 49ers. He routinely beat his man on most plays, he didn't make mistakes and he made the players around him better. He was definitely outplaying Alex Boone and Anthony Davis, and even Joe Staley. Kilgore was among the top centers in the league.

But was that just a flash in the pan? Is he going to be the same guy when he returns from an injury?

The 49ers have to address the offensive line this offseason. They need to go out and address most positions on the line, and how they do that likely depends on how they feel about Kilgore at center. Marcus Martin has shown flashes of solid play but honestly, I don't think he's the answer and we know the 49ers can double down at, say, right guard if they feel comfortable with Kilgore going forward.

I think what they need to see is how Kilgore plays in a game situation. Seeing him in practice is nice, but it won't give them an idea of what they really have until they see Kilgore playing this year. I hope they get to see him, even if it's just for a game. Kilgore's chance of re-injury seems significantly lower than Hyde's. The 49ers -- and us fans -- need to know if the center position is a need or not.