The San Francisco 49ers have several players coming off injury as they head into training camp. We will get a better handle on most of their statuses after physicals later next week. Some players will start the season on the PUP or NFI list, and others will be ready to go from day one. We'll be taking a look at each of the notable injury players to figure out what we can expect in the early days of training camp.
Kendall Hunter appears ready to be part of the latter group. It is not surprising 49ers.com would talk about his fantastic offseason workout program. However, some of Hunter's own words are brimming with optimism. The 49ers sat down with five players and one coach for a bit of a roundtable on various topics. One question was what each person tried to improve on this offseason. Hunter had the following to say:
For me, it was about getting in a groove and going against other opponents. I was able to get into my run reads, and (run) fits, and just get used to going up against somebody else. It's time for me to get back into training my eyes and going up against a defender. It was different for me because I was only doing rehab work before (OTAs and minicamp). I feel like rehab is rehab, and football is football.
Hunter tore his ACL a little less than a year ago, but all indications are that he is 100 percent heading into training camp. Of course, making cuts and figuring out his reads in shorts is a lot different than getting into pads, and then starting to take hits. But that is just the natural next step in figuring out exactly where he is in his recovery.
Hunter has dealt with two major injuries in his brief NFL career. After a solid rookie season, Hunter was looking even better in year two before tearing his Achilles. He worked back from that injury, and got a full season together in 2013. He then tore his ACL last year during camp. He effectively has 2.5 seasons of work under his belt as he heads into his fifth year in the NFL. He signed a one year deal after his injury, and will be competing with Reggie Bush and Mike Davis for opportunities behind Carlos Hyde. It remains to be seen what his future holds after this year, but if he can remain healthy, he can provide some nice punch to the ground game.