Morris totaled 48 yards on 14 carries and caught both of his targets for an additional 32 yards during Sunday's 30-27 win over the Lions. Morris struggled to the tune of just 3.4 yards per carry, but he added a pair of 16-yard catches to pad his yardage totals on the day. Meanwhile, Matt Breida contributed 159 scrimmage yards on 14 touches and scored a crucial 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The two backs continue to split touches for the time being, but Morris' ineffectiveness on the ground, combined with Breida's emergence, could shift this dynamic moving forward. As things stand, Morris should still see a healthy allotment of touches Week 3 against the Chiefs.
Morris toted the rock 12 times for 38 yards in Sunday's loss to the Vikings. As expected, Morris split carries almost evenly with co-starter Matt Breida (11 carries for 46 yards). The latter performed better on a per-touch basis, but Morris was granted goal-line work. The veteran fumbled on consecutive carries from one yard out, losing the second one in a crushing end to a promising offensive drive. Sunday's lackluster stat line highlights the 29-year-old's low ceiling in a timeshare, but the touchdown potential makes Morris flex-worthy heading into a more favorable matchup against the Lions next Sunday.
Morris told Dianna Russini of ESPN that he expects "a lot of touches" during Sunday's game at Minnesota. In the wake of Jerick McKinnon's torn ACL, Morris figured to be the likely early down and goal-line option out of the 49ers backfield, but he's opening the season behind Matt Breida on the depth chart. In a recent interview with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, coach Kyle Shanahan said Breida, Morris and Raheem Mostert "are capable of whatever play we call," and "we want them all to get carries, all to get touches." In what should be a balanced offense this season, it may be difficult to feed all three, as Shanahan intimated, but Morris' comments Sunday indicate he'll be fed a far amount Week 1.
Morris is listed behind Matt Breida on San Francisco's depth chart ahead of its Week 1 matchup with Minnesota. The two running backs will form a timeshare now that Jerick McKinnon (knee) is out for the season, with Morris a clear favorite for goal-line/short-yardage work and Breida a safe bet to see the field passing downs. The big question is how everything in between will be split up, as there's a case to be made for either player as the superior option in neutral situations. The weekly matchup along with game flow should be the major determinants, with Morris holding an advantage when the Niners want to pound the ball or drain the clock. Breida, meanwhile, figures to get more work when the team emphasizes its passing game. A difficult opening game in Minnesota seems to favor Breida, regardless of which back earns the starting nod.
Morris' role is set to increase after Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL during Saturday's workout, Matt Barrows of The Athletic Bay Area reports. Morris arrived in San Francisco in mid-August when the backfield suffered injuries to McKinnon (calf at the time) and Matt Breida (shoulder). With McKinnon out for the season, Morris is poised to share the backfield with Breida, who gained medical clearance Saturday. Morris made two appearances this preseason, carrying 19 times for 89 yards (4.7 per), which lines up with his mark of 4.8 from a season ago with the Cowboys. He doesn't provide much as a receiver, though, meaning Breida likely will take the field in obvious passing situations.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/23||@Kansas City Chiefs||28||27.00|
|4||09/30||@Los Angeles Chargers||23||18.00|
|6||10/16||@Green Bay Packers||8||12.00|
|7||10/22||Los Angeles Rams||9||12.00|
|10||11/13||New York Giants||19||16.00|
|12||11/25||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||27.00|
|17||12/30||@Los Angeles Rams||9||12.00|
|3 Year Avg||129||514||1||7||37||0||60|