The 49ers depth at running back is light at best. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida will hopefully return to action by week one but it’s not a guarantee. Rehab from injuries never is. Kyle Shanahan reported Joe Williams could return possibly be ready to return for the final preseason game facing the Chargers in his day after conference call but the latest addition to the roster indicates anything but that happening.
The team is set to add running back Ja’Quan Gardner from Humboldt State to the roster, according to Matt Maiocco. Pending a physical, he would be available to play in the preseason finale.
The Division II running back rushed for 1,322 yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior year and caught 20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Gardner’s most impressive season was his sophomore year when he carried the ball 337 times for 2,266 yards, averaging 188.8 yards per game. that same season he scored 25 rushing touchdowns. (Yes, I had to double check those numbers)
Gardner is of smaller stature at 5’7 and weighing approximately 200 lbs. according to various reports. This is a similar build to both Breida and McKinnon. The 49ers are also familiar with Gardner having invited him to the team’s local rookie pro day during the offseason.