Trent Baalke on Marcus Lattimore: “He’s close. How close remains to be seen.”

SANTA CLARA – This is what Trent Baalke said about Marcus Lattimore Saturday afternoon.

Q: Why isn’t Marcus Lattimore active? Did he reinjure himself?

BAALKE: He has had no setbacks. He’s coming off, as well all know, a horrific injury. We want to make sure, as does he, that he is 100 percent mentally and physically ready to go to help this football team and to give himself the best chance to compete at a very high level. As far as setbacks, none.

Q: Do you see him on the Week 1 roster?

BAALKE: It really depends. Once again, coming off an injury, there are two things you’ve got to address – the physical and the mental. Players know when they’re ready and trainers can know to a point when they’re ready physically. What it really comes down to, especially in these types of cases where the injury was to the level it was – it was a significant injury, so there is a mental hurdle and a physical hurdle you’ve got to overcome. And he’s close. How close? That remains to be seen.

Q: How do you measure the mental hurdle?

BAALKE: I think the players tell you. Just like Michael Crabtree last year when he was coming back, it really came down to when he believed in his mind he was ready to go. You can’t tell them how they feel. As a player, they know when they’re ready. I don’t know that we can measure when they’re mentally ready as much as they will let us know when they’re ready.

Q: These guys are so confident in themselves. Will they ever tell you they’re not ready?

BAALKE: Absolutely they will.

Q: Has Lattimore said that?

BAALKE: Once again, any time you’re dealing with an athlete, they’re going to make that decision when they really believe they’re ready. I think, like I said earlier, he’s close. How close remains to be seen.

This article has 9 Comments

  1. The 49ers begin the season with a rookie back, a back with both mental and physical issues, and an aging Frank Gore. Wow. Just don’t understand how anyone can characterize the backfield as a strength of this team at the moment. Lots and lots of questions..

    1. It easy if you actually accept the fact that Frank Gore is a top ten RB. Everything else (all RB’s) will be built from that foundation.

      Superbowl RB, Marshawn Lynch finished 2013 at 1,257 yrds – 4.2 ypc – 301 attempts.
      Frank Gore finished 2013 at 1,128 yrds – 4.1ypc – 276 attempts.
      F.Gore finished as the 9th best RB in the NFL in 2013.

      Those numbers give validity to why FG’ is called “the inconvenient truth” in some football circles.
      Nothing fancy, just git-r-done!

  2. I sincerely hope that Lattimore doesn’t feel the need to rush into action because of KHunt’ injury.
    It would be normal for an athlete to seize the moment when an opportunity arises, but if ML is not completely ready he may do more harm than good.

    Latt may also be feeling a little more pressure with CHyde now in the fold. I love Lattimore’ passion and desire for the football but I hope that he listens to his body more than his desire to play at the moment.

  3. LaMichael is the one that has to step up here. Someone has got to steal some carries from Gore. If Gore carrying the ball 15+ times is our plan, then we plan to stay the same and not get better.
    LaMichael is a dangerous runner. He will have to take up some of the load until they feel comfortable with Hyde or Lattimore.

  4. Marcus should be fine bring him back slowly like they have been a reap the rewards when he does hit the field. They are flush with talent back there you have a star in Gore, LMJ who has proven when he gets on the field he can make plays and the best back in the draft in Hyde. Lots of experience youth and versatility without Lattimore when he does come back healthy we will be stacked. Only an idiot would think the 49ers backfield is a question mark.

  5. Hunter was my pick to be the sleeper player. He was regaining his 2012 explosiveness (last season as he was still coming back from the Achilles). His absence will be felt.

    If Lattimore can play at some point, it will be big. More then stats, Marcus is a natural pass catcher and a sneaky good goal line runner. His presence keeps defenses guessing.

  6. Can somebody tell me why. Are the NINERS still waiting for Lattimore?he dindnt play last season and this season there is a chance that he is not ready mentally is he a Barry Sanders or Emmit Smith or Roger Craigh kind of RB? C’mon he is going to get a spot and the 53 man roster? While the NINERS could get somebody else that can play right know?

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