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Could Alfred Morris be the starting running back against the Vikings?

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Brian Baldinger thinks so. What do you think?

If you weren’t miffed about being subjected to Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols against the Houston Texans, only to see Alfred Morris show up after a week and dominate the Indianapolis Colts, well you should be. Morris was the star of the show in Saturday’s preseason loss against the Colts. 17 carries, 84 yards, welcome to the team.

But was he good enough that he might unseat Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon? Brian Baldinger thinks so. He’s had some nice film segments we’ve already talked about and now he’s back into the 49ers well of opportunity, examining Morris.

In that video he says he thinks Morris could be the starting running back come Week 1 against the Vikings. Eaaaaaaaaassssyy there. Morris looked good, but the Colts are not the Vikings and we didn’t get a chance to see McKinnon or Breida against the Colts. Plus it’s only one game. Anyone can look good in one game.

I do think the 49ers have found their third running back. And it isn’t Joe Williams or Jeremy McNichols. Given that it’s one game, Morris has the resume to show he works in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and if you put him, McKinnon, and Breida all in the same play (this isn’t out of the question) that’s a mismatch.

I don’t doubt for a second McKinnon being named the starting running back is a loosely used term based on the backfield, it’s why I want no part of it in fantasy. All three of those running backs will get carries. While Morris may not be the starter, I do think he’s capable of getting a sizable load this season and the combination of him, Breida, and McKinnon could make one of the deadliest three-headed beasts in the league.

But the starter? Not sure about that.

Fooch’s update: John Lynch offered a response on KNBR (h/t 49ers Webzone). He did not specifically say if Baldinger was right or wrong, but did compliment him on his evaluation of Morris.

“His take on Alfred was exactly right. I think, what’s interesting about Alfred is you always think — and this is something Kyle and I have talked about — you always think of a change-of-pace back, of being the quick, fast guy, who’s a third-down back. I think the way we comprised our roster with a premium on speed and matchup issues for a defense, we just had a feeling, number one, we got injured. We also had a feeling that we were missing a churner, a guy who could get the tough yards. A mudder, we used to call ‘em — someone who could stick their foot in a tough condition game and grind out some yards.

”The other day, I will tell you, at Indianapolis, those holes were big. I think we could have run through them. But, Alfred also has a style, a patience, always finding the right hole. He’s played in this offense for a number of years, so he really did look good. That’s what you’re checking with a guy like that. Kyle’s been around him a lot. He’s had great success with him — Bobby Turner, our running back coach.

”So he knows the system well. You want to see where he’s at physically and he sure looked good the other day.”