SAN FRANCISCO—Carlos Hyde has some big shoes to fill when the 2015 season kicks off.
Expected to be the first 49ers running back not named Frank Gore to start a season in a decade, the second-year tailback returned to practice for the first time on June 5 after missing all of OTA’s and voluntary workouts with a leg injury.
Now healthy, rookie head coach Jim Tomsula expects Hyde to be full-go during this week’s mandatory minicamp.
“He’s feeling good,” said Tomsula. “I actually went in and said, ‘We don’t need to go today.’
“Carlos hasn’t missed a meeting…he’s been here every day. It’s just more of, Let’s just make it perfect.”
The former Ohio State star, who showed flashes of explosiveness and hard-nosed running in 2014, is expected to carry the majority of the workload in 2015, with the occasional breather afforded by the addition of the explosive Reggie Bush.
In theory, a healthy tandem of Bush and Hyde can provide a thunder and lightning-type attack, one that will ease the pressure on quarterback Colin Kaepernick to carry the team on his back.
Though Bush took the bulk of the first-team reps in OTA’s, Tomsula made a point of warning people to not read too closely into the Springtime decision.
“He went out, and we took that opportunity to pull Reggie off, give him a blow,” Tomsula said. “You’re going to see that. Don’t make much of that, I’ll just tell you now.”
Though the thunder and lightning approach sounds good in theory, health has always been a major concern for Bush, who has played a full 16 games just twice in his 10-year NFL career.
If Bush once more struggles to stay healthy, the Niners may have to lean heavily on their young tailback, big shoes or not.