49ers bringing in Alfred Morris to add depth in backfield
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are bringing in Alfred Morris to provide depth at running back while they deal with injuries at the position, coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday.
Morris, 29, was a sixth-round draft pick of Washington in 2012 when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. He rushed for 2,888 yards and 20 touchdowns during his first two seasons. The move won’t become official until he passes a physical.
“Alf did a great job for us in the two years I was with him,” Shanahan said. “It’s not flashy, but he runs extremely hard. He’s very reliable.”
The 49ers are dealing with injuries to their top-two running backs following their preseason opener. Jerick McKinnon suffered a calf injury Sunday and is expected to be out at least a week. His backup, Matt Breida, separated his shoulder against Dallas on Thursday and could miss the entire preseason.
Joe Williams has missed the last two practices due to a death in the family, though Shanahan said he expects Williams to return to the team in Houston this week when the 49ers will have two joint practices with the Texans ahead of their preseason game Saturday.
Shanahan said San Francisco wouldn’t have brought in Morris if he didn’t have a chance of making the 53-man roster.
“I think with some of the injuries that we’ve had, he does have a chance to compete,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting here late, but we’ll see how he does over these next few weeks. If he’s running the same way he always has, he’s going to have a chance.”
Morris has played six seasons, including the past two with the Cowboys. He started five games in 2017, rushing for 547 yards on 115 carries. His 4.8-yard average was his highest since his rookie campaign. Morris logged at least 1,000 yards during his first three seasons in Washington and has 5,503 yards rushing with 32 touchdowns during his six-year career.
NOTES: CB Richard Sherman returned to team drills in a limited capacity Monday for the first time since tweaking his hamstring earlier in training camp . The team announced TE George Kittle (shoulder) was listed as week-to-week after suffering a shoulder injury Thursday against the Cowboys.