Hightower was seen trying out for the Saints during their minicamp Tuesday, Nick Underhill of The Baton Rouge Advocate reports.
With starting running back Mark Ingram out for the first four games of the regular season due to a suspension, the Saints may be looking to bring in a veteran tailback to help shoulder the workload. Hightower last played in the NFL in 2016 for New Orleans, where he appeared in all 16 games and rushed for 548 yards and four touchdowns. The Saints are also bringing in Jamaal Charles on Wednesday for a potential tryout.
The 49ers released Hightower on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Early in training camp, there were some inklings that Hightower was vying for reps with the first-team offense over Carlos Hyde, but the cream rose to the top throughout the preseason, leaving Hyde in his expected role with the top reserve RB spot going to undrafted free agent Matt Breida. At 31 years of age, Hightower may be reaching the end of the line as a viable professional.
Hightower had eight carries for 21 yards and a touchdown and two catches for four yards on two targets in Thursday's preseason finale against the Chargers.
Hightower may be competing for one roster spot against Raheem Mostert, who was held out of Thursday's game after piling up 130 yards and two touchdowns on six touches the previous week. Hightower didn't make much of a case this preseason, gaining 20 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown and a lost fumble. Even if he were to stick with the team, he'd likely be no higher than third on the backfield depth chart. Rookies Matt Breida and Joe Williams figure to serve as Carlos Hyde's backups.
Hightower may be on the bubble for a roster spot with the 49ers, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.
Carlos Hyde and 2017 fourth-round pick Joe Williams entered camp as roster locks, and undrafted rookie Matt Breida has also made a strong push for a spot. Hightower may be competing against Raheem Mostert for one roster spot, with the battle potentially playing out during Thursday's preseason finale against the Chargers. Even if he does end up making the team, Hightower won't necessarily have a significant Week 1 role on offense.
Hightower did not see the field in Sunday's preseason loss to the Vikings.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been alternating starts with his backup running backs this preseason, so expect Hightower to receive a heavy workload in Thursday's exhibition finale against the Chargers. The 31-year-old projects to be in the mix as one of Carlos Hyde's primary backups once the games begin to count.
Hightower (knee) logged his first game action as a 49er on Saturday, carrying the ball three times for a loss of one and fumbling once in a preseason loss to Denver.
San Francisco went down early and only controlled the ball for 21 minutes, so Hightower wasn't afforded many opportunities to showcase his abilities. On a positive note, the 31-year-old was healthy enough to suit up after missing last week's contest with a minor knee ailment. Carlos Hyde is clearly the 49ers' top running back option after receiving all of the first-team carries in both preseason contests, leaving Hightower to compete with Joe Williams for meaningful backup touches this season.
Hightower (knee) was held out of action in Friday's preseason opener against Kansas City, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
The veteran running back has been dealing with a minor knee injury and it was bothering him enough to keep him sidelined for Week 1 of the preseason. The 49ers haven't provided specifics in regard to the severity of the injury, but Hightower's participation in practice this upcoming week should give us a better idea as to when he's expected to make his debut in red and gold. The 31-year-old is currently listed as the primary backup to Carlos Hyde, but he will have to fend of rookie Joe Williams for touches as the regular season approaches.
Hightower (knee) was back on the practice field Tuesday, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.
His injury wasn't expected to hinder Hightower too long, and it's a good sign that he's back on the field. The 31-year-old will continue to share snaps with Carlos Hyde, especially since Hightower is a more skilled pass catcher than Hyde. The 49ers play in Kansas City on Friday night.
Hightower was held out of practice Monday with a knee injury and is considered day-to-day, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Hightower exited early during practice Thursday and was subsequently absent from Friday's session with what was termed as a day off. It now appears that the veteran is nursing a legitimate injury, but given the day-to-day prognosis, it seems Hightower's situation presents little cause for concern.
Hightower has looked good through the first week of training camp, but Carlos Hyde also has impressed and is putting himself in good position to retain the starting job, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reports.
Of the three players competing for serious roles, rookie Joe Williams apparently is the only one struggling. Meanwhile, Hyde seems to be back at full strength and taking a liking to coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme, but the fourth-year back doesn't have a strong record as a pass catcher, which should help Hightower in his own bid for a major role. As things stand, Hightower is the favorite for the No. 2 job and also for the role as the primary passing-down back. Williams does still have plenty of time to push for work with the start of the preseason a week away.
Hightower picked up the first snap at running back during Monday's practice, Cam Inman of The Mercury News reports.
With Carlos Hyde just more than seven months removed from a torn MCL, the 49ers coaching staff could be doing their due diligence with the running back, who arrived at training camp in "tremendous" shape, according to general manager John Lynch. However, in addition to getting superseded by Hightower in Monday's practice, Hyde also fumbled on a toss play. Contrary to popular opinion, the competition between Hyde and Hightower is closer than initially expected, but in-game performances in the preseason may actually hold more weight in the end.
Hightower was signed by the 49ers on Saturday, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Hightower, who is set to turn 31 in May, has spent the past two seasons in a backup role with the Saints. The 49ers now have five running backs on the depth chart, having re-signed DuJuan Harris earlier in the week. Carlos Hyde (knee) is the clear-cut starter heading into the 2017 season, but Hightower will have a chance to compete with Harris, Mike Davis, and Raheem Mostert for snaps.
Hightower is visiting with the Redskins on Wednesday, ESPN's Mike Triplett reports.
Hightower was with the Redskins in 2011 when he suffered a torn ACL that didn't heal properly and subsequently kept him out of the league from 2012 to 2014. After reviving his career in New Orleans the past two seasons, the 30-year-old would seem to be a good fit in Washington's inexperienced backfield, where he might even get a shot to compete for a leading role. While other teams may primarily view him as a passing-down back, the Redskins are already set in that department with Chris Thompson. However, they don't have a clear-cut lead back, meaning that Hightower could be part of a committee at the position. Hightower's last known visit was with the 49ers.
Hightower, an unrestricted free agent, will visit with the 49ers on Thursday, ESPN.com's Mike Triplett reports.
Hightower was one of the better stories of the 2015 season, returning from a three-year absence to play a big role in the New Orleans offense late in the year. He then handled a complementary role for most of 2016, taking 133 carries for 548 yards (4.1 YPC) and four touchdowns, with another 200 yards and a touchdown on 22 catches (26 catches). While lacking in explosiveness, the 30-year-old could garner a reasonably strong contract due to his competence as a power runner, pass blocker and receiver. Hightower could slide right in as Carlos Hyde's top backup in San Francisco, potentially getting the majority of passing-down snaps.
Hightower rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown on three carries in Sunday's loss to Atlanta.
Hightower ran a stretch to the left for his third touchdown in as many weeks. Few 30-year-old running backs get much attention in free agency, which is Hightower's next stop. His skill set might translate best down by the Bayou, but don't be surprised if he has a number of suitors given his ability to both barrel through defenders near the goal line and contribute in the passing game.
Hightower gained 29 yards on eight rushes and secured his only target for 11 yards in Saturday's 31-24 win over the Bucs.
Hightower played a clear second fiddle to backfield mate Mark Ingram, as the latter received 10 additional touches on the ground, and two more targets through the air. The 30-year old's involvement in the offense has been on a downward trend in recent weeks, with Hightower seeing single-digit carries in three of the past four games. He did score two touchdowns in the only game during that span in which he saw double-digit totes, Week 15 versus the Cardinals. The veteran will try to close out the season on a strong note against the Falcons in Week 17, but could once again find himself as only a complementary option to Ingram.
Hightower had 11 carries for 37 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 48-41 win at Arizona. He also caught all three of his targets for 11 yards.
Playing against one of his former teams, Hightower scored both of his touchdowns from close range in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Mark Ingram was more productive on a per-play basis, rushing for 79 yards on 17 carries, although he did not score. Expect Hightower to continue to be involved next week against Tampa Bay.
Hightower gained 31 yards on six carries and caught one passes for eight yards in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.
After being curiously limited to only three touches in Week 13, Hightower returned to splitting carries with Mark Ingram (seven carries, 14 yards) in Tampa Bay. Although Hightower found some running room against a tough Buccaneers run defense, it remains to be difficult to predict how the Saints will divvy up the backfield touches going forward. Hightower will be tough to trust against a solid Arizona defense in Week 15.
Hightower gained five yards on two carries and four yards on one reception in Sunday's loss to the Lions.
After fumbling twice in key spots in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively, Mark Ingram (toe) had been splitting snaps with Hightower for the most of the second half this year. In Week 13, however, Ingram assumed more of a feature role, garnering 12 touches (seven carries, five receptions) compared to Hightower's three. That said, with the Lions in control for most of the afternoon, neither running back saw much action in this one. While both Hightower and Ingram have generally been effective of late, Ingram's significantly larger workload in Week 13 could signal that the Saints are ready to return Ingram to a feature-back role. Hightower should continue to be rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues because he still has plenty of value as a handcuff to the oft-injured Ingram. Moreover, it still remains possible that Hightower;s meager Week 13 workload was a one-week anomaly. Having said that, he isn't a recommended start Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Hightower would figure to assume a full workload of backfield duties if teammate Mark Ingram (toe) is unable to play Sunday against the Lions, ESPN's Mike Triplett reports.
Hightower and Ingram have been handed a pretty even split of touches lately, but after a toe injury only allowed the latter to fit in one limited practice session all week, Hightower could be in store for a larger workload this weekend. That obviously would bode well for Hightower's fantasy stock, which has enjoyed a rise back to relevancy since his 102-yard outburst against the Seahawks in Week 8.