Marcus Lattimore (USA Today Sports Images)
You haven't forgotten about Marcus Lattimore, have you?
It was just more than a year ago when Lattimore, then at South Carolina, suffered a gruesome knee injury against Tennessee, which changed his football career forever. He blew away NFL scouts and team doctors in the pre-draft process and landed in Round 4 with the San Francisco 49ers, and he now finally hopes to suit up for them.
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Lattimore believes he can finally practice with the 49ers starting next week, the Sacramento Bee reports. He currently resides on the non-football injury list, continuing to rehab the knee daily, and if he was to suit up in practice it would trigger a three-week window which the team would have to activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on injured reserve, ending his rookie season.
Still, Lattimore knows his chances of impacting the 49ers this season remain slim. He and the team maintain a long-term vision of his future, perhaps as Frank Gore's eventual replacement.
"It would be important to have my mind ready for the next year — real excited about it," he said.
In the meanwhile, the rookie running back is trying to soak up everything he can, from Gore, the other 49ers backs and RB coach Tom Rathman.
"I've learned more in these four months than I've ever learned as far as how the defense plays, how to read fronts, how to read linebackers, coverage ..." Lattimore said. "I know so much about the game in the last four months, [more] than I've learned in the last 18 years. So it's been big."
And now Lattimore hopes he can ditch the classroom for the practice field. Even if it's only for three weeks.
"Everything feels good," he said. "I should be out there."
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