For a second consecutive game, the San Francisco 49ers could be without Pierre Garçon.
The team's starting running back has been ruled questionable for Sunday's Week 9 home game against the New Orleans Saints. Linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) and rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee) were ruled out by the 49ers. Second-year linebacker Eli Harold and third-year pro Jimmie Ward figure to have increased roles on Sunday.
Hyde returned to practice this week in a non-contact jersey to protect his injured right shoulder. Hyde was limited all week in practice. The team's medical staff will use the next two days to make a determination on if he'll be cleared to play. Hyde suffered an AC joint sprain in a Week 6 road loss to the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 16.
"It's not nowhere near how it was the first time I hit it," Hyde said on Thursday. "It's definitely gotten a lot better. So I think if I just take it day by day, it'll continue to get better."
Enjoy the best photographs of San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde's return to the field.
Hyde, however, wasn't too confident about the likelihood of him playing against the Saints. The biggest concern was about absorbing contact on his shoulder.
"Not just landing on it by myself, but bodies landing on me with the ground, the whole impact," he said. "I think that will really be the test of if I'm good to go or not."
If Hyde is ruled inactive, Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris will likely handle the running back duties for a second straight game. The trio averaged four yards per carry, combining to run the ball 19 times for 76 yards.
"I thought they were doing a great job of running the ball," Hyde said. "I thought there were some runs they probably would have wanted back … but I thought they did a great job of running the ball and catching the ball – making plays out of nothing.
"I expect to see those guys do it again."
Colin Kaepernick has led the 49ers in rushing yards in back-to-back weeks.
Kaepernick's presence has opened things up for the runners, according to Hyde.
"Now the defense has to worry about him running the ball," Hyde said. "They don't just get to key in on us. With him being a threat in the running game, it definitely helps the running back out big time."
Hyde's focus going forward is on impacting the game with big runs once he's fully cleared to play.
When asked how his season has gone, the rusher with 109 carries for 429 rushing yards and six touchdowns was honest in his assessment.
"I think it has gone decent," Hyde said. "I definitely wish it would have gone a lot better, minus the injuries."
Hyde has two rushes of 20 or more yards this season. He's concentrating on adding to that total when he returns.
"I read a stat that when you get a 12-plus run, you have a good chance of getting points," the running back said. "If I can get more explosive runs, I can help this offense score points and then we might be in position to win games."