The San Francisco 49ers certainly aren’t rushing Marcus Lattimore.
With more than a week of training camp completed and the first preseason game looming, the second-year running back still hasn’t been cleared to hit the practice fields. During a press conference on Friday, Harbaugh refused to rule the running back out of the preseason even though that scenario is looking increasingly likely.
“Well, I thought I said it as clearly as I possibly could last week at some point. There’s a percentage that he needs to get back to. He’s working very hard towards that.”
However, Harbaugh did confirm that Lattimore definitely has a spot when he returns to health.
“Marcus is going to be part of this team in some form or fashion. I know what he’s got inside of him and I know what he’s capable of doing on the football field.”
“We’re going to do what’s best for him and ultimately we’re going to do what’s best for the program.”
Even with Kendall Hunter out for the season and LaMichael James on the shelf, the team can afford to be patient with Lattimore’s rehab thanks to the emergence of second-round pick Carlos Hyde, who both Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman have compared to Frank Gore.
It could just be quite a while before Lattimore gets his first snap with the 49ers.