49ers Should Start RB Mike Davis Against the Buccaneers in Week 7
The San Francisco 49ers will likely be without No. 1 running back Carlos Hyde in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means head coach Chip Kelly should start second-year tailback Mike Davis on Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is doubtful No. 1 running back Carlos Hyde will be available against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7.
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“He’s not going to go,” head coach Chip Kelly said of Hyde, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. “We’ll monitor him during the week, but it would be a stretch for him to play this week.”
Hyde, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, has had his right arm in a sling during the week, per Maiocco. As such, the Niners will be without one of their primary offensive weapons on Sunday.
In response, Kelly needs to start second-year tailback Mike Davis over any other options.
The Niners also have Shaun Draughn on the roster, who is currently serving as the team’s No. 2 tailback. Fellow running back DuJuan Harris is currently on the team’s practice squad.
Both Draughn and Harris are likely viewed as better all-around running backs than Davis. And it’s hard to erase Davis’ 1.7 yards-per-carry average seen during his rookie campaign a year ago.
This year hasn’t been much better. Davis is averaging just 1.8 yards per attempt — of which he’s had only seven. Yet Davis flashed some promise in the preseason, ranking 12th out of all ball-carriers during the frame with 148 yards on 19 carries.
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True, preseason stats are what they are. Still, if San Francisco truly is in rebuild mode — and if 2016 is merely an audition for 2017 now — what’s the point in starting journeymen tailbacks like Draughn and/or Harris?
Davis should get the start here. At least it would help answer a question whether or not he’s worth keeping around as a backup in coming seasons.
And maybe it would be worth seeing what he can do on a regular basis instead of seeing an average of just over one carry per game.