The San Francisco 49ers quietly welcomed back Mike Davis to the practice field this week. The running back is currently on injured reserve with the return designation. Matt Barrows reported on Wednesday that Davis practiced in full on Wednesday.
The injured reserve with return designation works in a similar fashion to the PUP list and NFI list as far as the practice window. The difference is that a player has to go through the practice window before returning to the field. Mike Davis was eligible to return to practice last Saturday. He is eligible to return to the 53-man roster next weekend, the day before the 49ers season finale against the St. Louis Rams. Given the team's injuries at running back, it makes sense that we see Davis for that season finale.
Davis was not exactly wow'ing anybody before he got hurt. He has 25 rushing attempts for 24 yards. The 49ers have had all sorts of problems on offense, but even Shaun Draughn was able to figure something out behind this line. It certainly does not qualify as a lost year for Davis, but there will be some pressure to show something next season.
Jim Tomsula was asked about Davis on Thursday, and had the following to say:
How has RB Mike Davis looked at practice?
"Mike has been running around here pretty good. Obviously it was a hand. So, he's done training, he's done all of his lower body stuff, he's been running. So, it looks like he's in shape. And yesterday at practice took the lion's share of the scout team reps. Got him in there a couple of times with the other guys. He looks to be, you know it's a hand. The ball-handling was fine and he seems to be doing alright."
So, there's not, obviously he wouldn't be back out there, but I would imagine there's not a ton of risk and his hand isn't susceptible to maybe getting re-fractured?
"Well, that's the whole point. And we won't, he wouldn't be in practice if it was. Our guys won't put him out there. That just won't happen."