The 49ers gave rookie tailback Carlos Hyde the start in Thursday’s exhibition at Baltimore, and on the game’s first series, he proved up to the task.
Hyde racked up 34 yards on three carries on his first professional drive, helping to set up a field goal as San Francisco took an early 3-0 lead.
Hyde’s gains were seven, 19 and eight yards, respectively. On the 19-yarder, a block from fullback Bruce Miller helped him get the corner off left end.
Veteran Frank Gore is clearly the Niners’ starting running back, but Hyde has a real chance to be the top option behind Gore on the depth chart. It’s just one series, yes, but on Thursday night, Hyde displayed the skill necessary to have a role in the San Francisco backfield, even if it’s just a complementary one in his first NFL season.