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49ers promote Jarryd Hayne to 53-man roster, place Alex Boone on injured reserve

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In the wake of Shaun Draughn's knee injury, the Rugby League convert is set to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have officially promoted running back Jarryd Hayne to the 53-man roster. Hayne, an Australian Rugby League convert and fan favorite, has been on the practice squad since he was released earlier this season.

To make room on the roster, the 49ers placed left guard Alex Boone on injured reserve. Boone's season is now done, and his future with the 49ers is murky at best. He's a solid starter, but he could be priced out of the 49ers' range on the open market.

Hayne impressed in the preseason as both a running back and a kick returner, and many were disappointed when he was ultimately buried on the depth chart, despite significant injuries at the position(s). Hayne has just eight carries for 25 yards, one reception for 7 yards and eight punt returns for 76 yards in six regular season games.

This news was foreshadowed by Hayne traveling with the team to Detroit to face the Lions on Sunday. Starter Carlos Hyde and backup Reggie Bush both went on injured reserve, and though Hayne has potential, he could not be trusted with a significant role without those guys around. So the 49ers ended up, most recently, with Shaun Draughn, Kendall Gaskins and DuJuan Harris as the primary running backs.

Draughn started the past six games and probably played well enough to convince the 49ers he's worth a closer look this offseason, but he was ruled out for Sunday's game with a knee injury. Gaskins has seen action in seven games with 26 yards on 14 carries.

This is also notable due to the reports prior to the season that Hayne was close to signing with the Lions before agreeing to join the 49ers instead.