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 20 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 Garrison Hearst (1997-2003)
Once again, a no-doubter. Garrison Hearst is below Frank Gore in the pantheon of 49ers running backs, but he was a big impact player during some transition years for this team. He joined the 49ers after three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, one of which included a comeback player of the year award. In five seasons in uniform with the 49ers, Hearst would put up 5,535 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, while also claiming his second comeback player of the year award.
I say "in uniform" because of the injury we all remember too well. We all know about his ugly ankle injury against the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the 1999 playoffs. It is impossible to say what would have happened if he stayed healthy, but that 49ers team had a shot at the Super Bowl with a healthy Hearst. It's one of the big "What ifs" in franchise history.
But it is pretty amazing that Hearst was a Pro Bowler in 1998, missed two seasons rehabbing the ankle injury, and was a Pro Bowler in his first season back in 2001. It is fitting that those two seasons mark his best work with the 49ers.
Who wears it now: CB Kenneth Acker (2014-present), RB Mike Davis (2015-present)
The 49ers have two guys sporting the number, and both guys have a strong chance of making the roster. Davis was a fourth round pick this past year, while Acker was a sixth round pick last year. Davis seems like a lock to make the team, while Acker is close, if not already there. If they both make it, at least one of them will find a new jersey.