The San Francisco 49ers made an intriguing decision on Sunday, getting Matt Breida more touches than Carlos Hyde. The 49ers started Hyde, but by game’s end, Breida had ten carries and three receptions (on five targets), while Hyde had eight rushes and and one reception (on one target).
Hyde had a hip injury that limited him last week, but by all accounts was healthy this week. After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was going with the hot hand at running back. Hyde later said he was fine health-wise, and it was a coaches’ decision that Breida got more work (h/t Matt Maiocco).
Hyde averaged 1.4 yards per carry on Sunday, a week after Breida averaged 1.8 yards per carry. I don’t think we’re seeing a full changing of the guard, but the team is clearly comfortable with Breida, even after the poor rushing performance in Week 4. It’s worth noting that Breida has shown a lot in pass protection, which is a key for any young running back to get on the field.
The 49ers face a tough Washington run defense next week. Will we see more of Breida, or will it be back to Hyde? Or do you see it being entirely unpredictable moving forward?