Running back Kendall Hunter, who struggled in his comeback attempt during 49ers training camp after sustaining a torn ACL in his right knee last summer, was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.
The most surprising development on Saturday was the release of inside linebacker Nick Moody, who started the first two exhibition games and was expected to be a key special-teams contributor.
The Hunter and Moody decisions were two of 17 moves made on Saturday to reduce the 49ers’ roster to the 53-player limit by the 1 p.m. deadline.
WR DiAndre Campbell
CB Marcus Cromartie
G/C Dillon Farrell
RB Kendall Gaskins
CB Leon McFadden
LB Nick Moody
DT Kaleb Ramsey
OL Justin Renfrow
DL Marcus Rush
NT Garrison Smith
QB Dylan Thompson
G Andrew Tiller
S Jermaine Whitehead
Rookie tight end Busta Anderson was also placed on injured reserve. And the NFL placed wide receiver Jerome Simpson on the reserve/suspended list. Simpson was suspended for the first six games of the season for a violation of the league's policy on substance abuse, stemming from an incident prior to his signing with the 49ers.
Hunter, who turns 27 this month, entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2011. It is the third time in Hunter’s career that the 49ers have placed him on injured reserve.
Hunter averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt in his first three seasons while serving mostly as Frank Gore’s top backup. Hunter sustained a torn Achilles in 2012 and returned the following season to rush for 358 yards and three touchdowns.
After sustaining a torn ACL in one of the first practices of 2014 training camp, Hunter was attempting to make a return this season. Hunter sat out the first two exhibition games of the summer and rushed for just 36 yards on 17 carries in the final two games.
“Kendall obviously had the opportunity tonight to get out there to run,” 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said of Hunter after Thursday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. “He had the opportunity last week. Kendall is one fighting son of a gun. I mean what he’s overcome and what he’s busted through. I can’t say enough about him. We all feel that way.”
The 49ers will open the season with four running backs: Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, rookie Mike Davis and former Australia rugby league star Jarryd Hayne.