The San Francisco 49ers will be without Kendall Hunter for the rest of the season, a source told USA Today. The 49ers said the running back suffered a left ankle injury in a win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported Hunter suffered a torn ACL.
Hunter provided a quality backup and change of pace for Frank Gore. He had 371 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries this season.
Hunter's absence will provide an opportunity for a back that has been pining for a chance. Rookie LaMichael James and Brandon Jacobs have been eager for more opportunities. Jacobs, the two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, has been the vocal one of the two. James hasn't been active for a single game.
The 49ers are a run-first offense and the combination of Gore and Hunter was no joke. Hunter rushed for 473 yards as a rookie last year. The 49ers enjoyed the luxury of being able to spell Gore, who is currently No. 6 on the active career rushers list. One of those backs needs to step up.
Jacobs has been begging for a chance. Now he has to prove worthy of one.UPDATE: The 49ers announced Tuesday that Hunter and wide receiver Kyle Williams have been placed on injured reserve.
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