The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game. means San Francisco is now a mere 32 days away from kicking off its 2015 regular season. In the spirit of that approaching date, I thought I would steal this idea from our Oakland Raiders site.
Who wore it best: RB Ricky Watters (1992-1994)
Safety Mel Phillips ended up with a slightly higher AV over at Pro Football Reference, but Ricky Watters did so much in so little time with the 49ers. The 49ers drafted him in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft, but injuries derailed his rookie season. He emerged healthy in 1992 and quickly took over as the team's starting running back. He rushed for 1,103 yards and nine touchdowns, while hauling in 43 receptions for 405 yards and two touchdowns.
Over the course of three seasons as the team's starting running back, Watters finished with 2,840 rushing yards, 1,450 receiving yards, and 33 total touchdowns. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in all three seasons. He left as a free agent following the 1994 season, but not before making his mark in the postseason. Following the 1993 regular season, he had five rushing touchdowns in the 49ers 44-3 divisional round victory over the New York Giants. In the 49ers Super Bowl win the next season, he had two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in their 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Who wears it now: RB Kendall Hunter (2011-present)
Hunter is back for his fifth season sporting No. 32. He signed a one-year deal last fall after tearing his ACL. He is not going to play on Saturday against the Houston Texans, but seems a good bet to get into a game or two before the preseason ends.
The addition of Reggie Bush and Mike Davis does not bode well for Hunter's roster chances, but when healthy he has been a very solid presence for the 49ers. Unfortunately, that's the rub. Hunter tore his Achilles during the 2012 season, and then tore his ACL during training camp leading up to last season. He has dealt with some significant injuries that go beyond bumps and bruises and sprains. He is a talented running back, but he cannot stay on the field, unfortunately.