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Jarryd Hayne makes his 49ers return in Detroit

After an eight game hiatus from the 53 man roster, Jarryd Hayne made his comeback against the Lions in week 16 to replenish the battered RB position.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

After an eight week tour on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, Australian Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne made his re-debut in Detroit. The day started out with a flash of excitement. Both Hayne and newly acquired RB DuJuan Harris contributed to the first offensive touchdown of the season that occurred in the first quarter. Hayne finished the half with eight carries for 27 yards. The second half wasn't quite as impressive for Hayne as the offense sputtered and only ran 20 offensive plays. He carried the ball only one of the three times the 49ers ran the ball, (33.3%) but he turned into the third most targeted receiver (six), catching the ball five times for 20 yards. He also led the running backs with 35 snaps.

After the game, he spoke to the media:

About being called back up from the practice squad and then being in for the first play:

I wasn't really told too much and then I think it was during warm up, I was told I was going to take the first play and just run with it. I had a bit of an idea knowing that Shaun was down. I just kind of went with it and let it be.

How did it feel being back out there again after being on the practice squad?

It felt great. I’ve obviously done a lot of work and kept going doing what I’m doing in the meeting room and outside as well. That's obviously has shown. We came close today but it wasn’t meant to be.

On coaching staff having confidence in him:

With the amount of reps I got on the (scout) team and kind of being by myself the past couple weeks on the practice squad, it’s been huge.  To get that much experience, it’s invaluable because I’ve obviously got so much to catch up on. I felt great out there. There’s probably one or two things I could have done better, but overall I was happy.

On psychological effect of getting demoted and then promoted:

Not really. Leading up to it, you think about what you want to do in the game and how you want to play. At the end of the day, I said just said to myself, ‘Be sure to go out there and do what I do.’ I know that I’m capable of playing at this level. Obviously confidence in my own ability is something I have a lot of, and to be able to go out there and perform the way I did today, I think it shows.

Bit of a Hail Mary, this comeback late in the season?

It is what it is. I always remained ready and focused. To get the call up was great.

Did not being able to finish put a damper on the day after starting fast?

Definitely. We hadn’t started like that all year, and to get a touchdown on the first drive was tremendous. There were a couple things there that shifted the momentum and they ran away with it, and it was disappointing, coming for the win and we didn't get that.

On fourth down catch that wasn't converted:

If I ran a bit more vertical, then obviously … It was a linebacker that stopped me.

Were you expecting this much of the workload?

I wouldn’t say I was expecting it, but I was definitely hoping for it. I was hoping to get out there and get the ball in my hands and be a big part of the game. All the running backs had a really good share of the game. It was great for us to get out there.

On his future with the 49ers:

That’s not my focus at the moment. My focus is on next week, and we have St. Louis at home.