Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports



Since becoming a starter in 2015, San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has been available for just 20 of the team's 32 games due to injuries. He has not yet surpassed the 1,000-yard threshold while carrying the football but came just 12 yards shy of that goal last season before yet another injury forced the running back to miss the final game of the season.

This year, Hyde will have some support. The running back revealed on Thursday that he and rookie Matt Breida would share the load when it comes to running the football.

"Matt's going to be a big part of this offense," Hyde said. "He has a lot of speed. He has a lot of talent that the coaches can utilize. We go together good like a thunder and lightning combo. So, he'll be used just as much as I'm being used so it will be good for us. We keep each other fresh and tear the season up."


Breida was signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent following April's draft. In three seasons at Georgia Southern, he carried the football 542 times for 3,740 yards and 37 touchdowns. Breida's best season came in 2015 when he carried the football 203 times for 1,609 yards and 17 touchdowns. His 7.9 yards-per-carry average that season was shy of the 8.7 yards-per-carry that he averaged in 2014.

Sharing the carries with a capable running back will do a lot to help Hyde stay healthy for the entire season. Couple that with the fact Hyde reported to training camp in the best shape of his career and the duo could do big things within head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, which depends on a strong rushing attack.

"He really has dedicated himself," general manager John Lynch said as the team reported to training camp in late July. "He's changed his body type this offseason and that to me at the least bit shows a commitment."

Hyde is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to become a free agent in 2018. He was a second-round draft pick out of Ohio State by the 49ers in 2014. Over the past two seasons, Hyde has rushed for 1,468 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

"My goal is to be the number one rushing running back in this league and I feel like I have the best opportunity to do that now with this new staff so I'm definitely looking forward to that," Hyde said in July. "That's my mindset going into this season is being number one at the end of the season."