Rookie running back Marcus Lattimore will not play in a game for the 49ers this season. But this week he will be allowed to step on the practice field for the first time with his teammates.
The 49ers opened a 21-day practice window for Lattimore and undrafted rookie offensive lineman Luke Marquardt on Tuesday – the final day players on reserve lists can be cleared to practice -- a source told CSNBayArea.com.
The moves do not come as a surprise, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said last week that the organization intended to clear Lattimore and Marquardt for some level of participation during the three-week period.
“I’d like to get Marcus out there practicing,”Harbaugh said.
Lattimore (knee) and Marquardt (foot) have been on the reserve/non-football injury list this season, which has precluded them from pre- and post-practice stretching, as well as participation in walk-throughs and practices.
Lattimore is likely to see limited time in practices over the next three weeks before he is placed on season-ending injured reserve. Marquardt is not likely to see any practice time even though he will be allowed to take part.
“(I) wouldn’t say practice yet, but there will be some kind of participation,” Harbaugh said of Marquardt.
“They could be involved in the stretch, the walkthroughs,” Harbaugh added. “So we’ll see what his level of participation will be, but I think in some form or fashion, yeah. But, until that window opens up, they can’t even participate in the walkthroughs or stretch or post-practice stretch. Just be standing there while other guys are getting coached. Some level he’ll be doing more, which will be good.”
Marquardt (6 foot 8, 315 pounds) missed his final season at Azusa Pacific with a broken right foot that required follow-up surgery after his pro day prior the draft. The 49ers signed him as an undrafted free agent.
Lattimore sustained tears to his anterior cruciate, lateral collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee 13 months ago. The 49ers selected Lattimore in the fourth round of the draft. He has been able to attend meetings, but he has been limited to rehabilitation work on a side field while his teammates practice.
Lattimore said it is important for his mindset to see some action on the practice field to help him prepare for the 2014 season. He added that he’s already learned a great deal of football in the past four months, and he would like to translate some of his knowledge to the practice field.
“Just to get a feel of it and how everything’s going to be,” Lattimore said last week. “It’s different. You can learn it all you want until you go out there and do it. It’s really nothing you can really grasp.
“It’ll be important to have my mind ready for the next year. (I’m) just real excited about it.”