The San Francisco 49ers will be without their starting running back on Sunday.
Pierre Garçon (shoulder) won't play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7, the team announced in their final injury report on Friday. Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis will be called upon to fill the void. Hyde currently leads the team with 429 rushing yards and ranks second in the NFL with six rushing touchdowns.
Chip Kelly told reporters on Friday that he prefers to have three running backs up on gameday. That means a weekend call-up of practice squad runner DuJuan Harris is likely.
Davis got a bulk of the reps when Hyde went down in the second half of the team's Week 6 contest against the Buffalo Bills. The second-year ball-carrier could be in line for his first start of his career on Sunday.
Kelly said Davis has had been impressive in practice of late and is improving as a pass-catcher
"Just hitting the hole, timing and making the right cuts," Kelly said of Davis' progress. "(Are you) burying yourself into the back of the guard or are you working off of the guard's block and getting yourself to the second level and not getting touched by a linebacker?
"Finishing runs, showing good vision – that's kind of what you're looking for in a running back when you're going through practice."
Davis was San Francisco's leading rusher in the preseason with 18 carries for 146 yards (8.1-yard avgerage). Kelly compared Davis' increased reps with Colin Kaepernick in terms of finding a groove.
"The more time you're out there, the more reps you're getting, the more snaps you're getting – I think you're trying to get into a rhythm and get into a feel of kind of how the game itself will be played," Kelly said.
Davis explained on Thursday that he hopes to see an increased workload against the Buccaneers.
"That's something for every running back," the running back said. "You want to get in that rhythm – feel how the game is flowing."
- Torrey Smith explained that Kaepernick is continuing to build chemistry with San Francisco's pass-catchers. The quarterback connected with Smith on a 53-yard touchdown in Week 6.
"We've had another good week of practice," Smith said. "He's getting more reps with everyone, so I think that helps. We've just got to make those plays in the game, and everything else will come together."
- DeAndre Smelter is happy to be back with the 49ers organization as a member of the team's practice squad. The second-year wideout stayed in the Bay Area for the beginning of the season to rehab his injured hamstring.
Now healthy, the 2015 fourth-round pick explained that he's seeing progress in his game.
"I feel a lot smoother out there. Everything feels (more) effortless," Smelter said. "I'm new to the position and still learning a lot."
Smelter has been playing the role of Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans this week in practice on the scout team.