The deep San Francisco 49ers backfield became a bit shallower.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday the 49ers feared Kendall Hunter suffered an ACL tear, per a source. The team later confirmed that Hunter's injury is an ACL tear. The injury likely ends Hunter's season before it even began.
"Certainly it's a blow," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Saturday, per the San Jose Mercury News. "He's looked so good and was back to form."
The 49ers do have depth at the position. Hunter had actually gotten lost as Frank Gore's backup with Marcus Lattimore and rookie Carlos Hyde being discussed heavily this offseason. However, Hunter was expected to again be first in line behind The Inconvenient Truth.
If Hunter is gone for the season, the 49ers will lean on Hyde and might not have the luxury of keeping Lattimore on the NFI list when the season starts. LaMichael James remains on the roster and could also see increased time as the change-of-pace back -- a role he played when Hunter was out with an Achilles tear in 2012.
At the end of the day, however, Gore will still shoulder the load in San Francisco.