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 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 for Week 1 in 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 handle passing downs. The big question is how everything in between will be split up, as there's a case to be made for each player as the superior option in neutral situations. The weekly matchup and game flow should be major factors, giving Morris an advantage when the Niners want to pound the ball or drain the clock, while Breida figures to get more work when the team emphasizes its passing game. A difficult Week 1 game in Minnesota seems to point more in Breida's direction, regardless of which back gets the starting nod.
Morris will share starting duties with Matt Breida (shoulder) to begin the season, Cam Inman of The Mercury News reports.
Neither back was officially named the official replacement for Jerick McKinnon (knee), and a timeshare appears likely to begin the year. Morris' lengthy experience as an early-down back should net him a larger workload in situations where the 49ers are playing with a lead. The veteran's larger frame (5-10, 224 pounds) should also warrant goal-line work, but his lack of soft hands (just 57 receptions in 90 career games) will give Breida the edge in passing situations. The 49ers' Week 1 matchup with Minnesota should provide a clearer picture of the carry distribution between the co-starters.
Morris carried 17 times for 84 yards during Saturday's 23-17 loss to the Colts.
Making his team debut after signing last week, Morris led all players in touches and scrimmage yards. He averaged a healthy 4.9 yards per carry, and although he wasn't used in the passing game, he made the most of his spot start. The team expects Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder) to be ready for the start of the regular season, but Morris made a strong case for a roster spot and is much more accomplished as a featured back than either of his two aforementioned teammates. Jeremy McNichols, his likely competition for the third running back spot, managed just five yards on a pair of carries and 16 yards on four catches. As such, Morris could very well have an opportunity to cement his place on the roster next week against the Chargers.
|3||9/23/18||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ LAC||4:25 pm|
|6||10/15/18||@ GB||8:15 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/25/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ SEA||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||1||26||86||3.3||14||0||0||5|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||1||2||32||16.0||16||0||0||0||2|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||2||2||1||0||1||0||0||1||0|