Jarryd Hayne, the Australian rugby league star who is trying to make it in American football, is likely to return to the 49ers this week after they cut him on Saturday.
Hayne cleared waivers and is now expected to return to San Francisco, CSNBayArea.com reports.
The only question is whether the 49ers will sign Hayne to the practice squad or the 53-player active roster. When Hayne was cut on Saturday, it was widely expected that he’d end up on the 49ers’ practice squad. But the 49ers lost Hayne’s replacement as punt returner, Reggie Bush, to a knee injury yesterday. That might make the 49ers decide to put Hayne on the active roster and put him on the field on punt returns.
After trading Vernon Davis to the Broncos today, the 49ers do have an open spot on the 53-player roster.
The 49ers aren’t going anywhere this season, so it makes sense that they’re focusing on building for the future. Hayne is a player whose athletic talent gives him significant upside down the road, and so they might as well put him on the field this year and get him some experience, even if he’s not quite ready yet.
UPDATE 8:45 p.m. ET: The 49ers have announced that Hayne has been signed to the practice squad.