It's a constant point of debate on Twitter: Will RB Carlos Hyde play out the full 16 games in 2017? The starting running back for San Francisco the past few seasons has been getting a bad rap recently for his tendency to miss regular season games.
So let's take a look at what's really going on to see if Hyde's truly injury prone and bound to miss games in 2017. So far in his three-year career, out of a possible 48 games, Hyde has missed 14. A majority of those came in 2015, when he missed nine. In the other two seasons, Hyde has been on the field for 14 and 13 games, respectively.
What kind of injuries has Hyde been hampered by? Are they problems that will linger or just a result of a freak play?
In 2014, the ex-Ohio State product played in the first 14 games of the season. This was Frank Gore's last season with the 49ers, so Hyde was still a backup that was being groomed for the future. In the games he played in, he managed 83 carries for 333 yards, including four touchdowns. That's 14 games with no injury that threatened his participation in a game.
In Week 15, on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, Carlos Hyde gets bent around backwards by Bobby Wagner. You can watch the full play here. The resulting injury was a Back Hernia that caused him to miss the last two games of the season. It seemed to be an injury that was wrong place, wrong time, not necessarily something that's recurring.
In 2015, Hyde came out of the gates with a monster game. In his first game as the starter against the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers' running back rushed for 168 yards on 26 attempts, with two touchdowns.
The following week, the 49ers traveled to Pittsburgh on a short week, and were getting their doors blown off, when Carlos Hyde suffered a leg contusion and was looked at for a concussion. He was cleared to return, but head coach Jim Tomsula didn't want to risk it. Hyde returned the following week against Arizona.
Later in the season, against the Seattle Seahawks, Hyde's year would come to an end again. He couldn't play anymore on a sore foot, that ended up actually having a stress fracture. He didn't play in the nine remaining games and had surgery. He's been fully recovered from it and hasn't had problems last year.
In those seven games he played in 2015, Hyde still managed 115 carries and 470 yards, with three touchdowns.
The following year, Hyde suffered an AC joint sprain in his shoulder, which caused him to miss two games against the Buccaneers and the Saints during the middle of the year. In the last game of the season in Los Angeles, Hyde suffered an MCL tear, which ruled him out for the rest of the season -- last game, so it didn't really matter.
Despite only playing 13 games, Hyde had 217 carries for 988 yards, with six touchdowns. He was about to be a 1,000 yard rusher, despite missing games with various injuries. Not to forget the 163 receiving yards as well, which pushed him into the 1,000 all-purpose yards club.
Heading into 2017, Kyle Shanahan and his offensive staff have variety at running back. From Hyde to Joe Williams to Matt Breida to Kyle Juszczyk. Shanahan employs a diverse running back group, which he will utilize equally, preserving Hyde's health.
In 2016, the 26-year old had his best season and all of a sudden people continue to bury him in the offseason. Shanahan's offense will definitely highlight the strengths of Hyde's game. He's a physical runner, but his injury history suggests that he isn't injury prone. The NFL is a hard-hitting, violent sport that incurs freak injuries every single weekend.
It's ignorant to clump Hyde into the mix with the other injury prone running backs in this league. Heading into a contract year, I expect a big season out of No. 28 in Santa Clara. There's a chance he may miss games, but trust me, it won't stop 'El Guapo' from terrorizing opposing defenses.