Running back Alfred Morris has been a member of the San Francisco 49ers for just over two weeks, but it appears as though he’s shown enough to lock up a roster spot ahead of the final preseason game this Thursday.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday that he saw enough of Morris’ capabilities last week against the Indianapolis Colts and that he may not play much against the Los Angeles Chargers this week.
“I don’t think we need to see much of him. I think we have an idea of what he can do,” Shanahan said via quotes distributed by the team. “I don’t know how many guys are going to go. I don’t know how long Alf will go. I’d like to get some other guys some opportunities to evaluate them, too. I saw enough of Alf I think at Indy.”
Shanahan had Morris for two seasons as his running back in Washington where he served as offensive coordinator of the Redskins under his father, Mike Shanahan. Morris gained 2,888 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in those two seasons with Shanahan.
“I thought each run that he had in the game, he got more than we blocked for,” Shanahan said of Morris’ performance. “The big ones were, anyone would like to run through those, but he had a couple third-and-ones where I thought we missed a couple of guys in the backfield and he got hit behind the line of scrimmage but was still able to get us a yard. Those are the ones that allow you to stay on the field and keep running plays.”
While McKinnon (leg) and Breida (shoulder) are expected to be ready for the season opener, the rib fracture sustained by Joe Williams also gave a greater opportunity to Morris. With the 49ers planning to use him sparingly, if at all, in the preseason finale, it appears as though he’s shown plenty to be on the roster after this weekend’s cuts.