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49ers sign RB Brian Hill

JaMycal Hasty is the only healthy running back

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 11:00 a.m. PT: The 49ers have signed Brian Hill, per Matt Maiocco.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported the 49ers worked out three running backs Tuesday as their backfield is banged up. Elijah Mitchell is in the concussion protocol after taking a knee to the helmet. Mitchell also looked as though he rolled may have rolled his ankle on the same play. Mitchell is as tough as they come. I'd expect Mitchell to play despite nursing four separate injuries this season if he’s cleared from the protocol.

As Kyle Shanahan confirmed, it’s unclear when it happened, but Jeff Wilson’s knee flared up against the Seahawks. With rookie Trey Sermon on the injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain, that leaves JaMycal Hasty as the lone healthy running back.

Yates reported the running backs the Niners worked out are Jeremy Cox, Brian Hill, and Dexter Williams.

Cox is a 24-year-old undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion. He appeared in three games with the Broncos this season, as recently as November 15. He has zero offensive stats with three special teams tackles. However, Cox is a superb athlete. At his Pro Day, he ran a 4.42, jumped 39” in the vertical, and had a 6.90 3-cone drill. Each of those numbers is comfortably above average.

Hill was Josh Allen’s backfield mate at Wyoming. The fifth-round pick in 2017 has 209 carries during his career, with 100 coming in 2020 with the Falcons. Hill averaged 4.7 yards per attempt last season and added 25 receptions for 199 yards through the air.

Dexter Williams was a sixth-round pick om the 2020 draft out of Notre Dame. He spent two seasons with the Packers. Williams has seven carries for 19 yards in his career with no production as a wide receiver.

If the 49ers don’t elect to sign a running back, that’s a good sign. That would signal that one of the current backs is healthy and good to go for Sunday.