Carlos Hyde’s first season as the 49ers’ No. 1 running back began with a bang and ended with a fade to the sidelines.
After opening the season with a dynamic, 168-yard, two-touchdown show against the Minnesota Vikings, he was done by the seventh game of the season, the victim of an injured left foot that left him in pain and unable to cut and drive.
But now the former Ohio State star has reported to the 49ers’ headquarters for the team’s offseason program and says he’s 100 percent again and ready to play in new head coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense.
“My foot’s feeling great,” Hyde told reporters Wednesday. “I’m ready to go. I’m already familiar with this type of offense. I played it (at Ohio State), the up-tempo, no-huddle offense. I’m excited to be in it.”
After surgery to his left foot late in the season, rehabilitation and an intense, offseason conditioning program that reportedly has left him seven pounds lighter, Hyde says he’s eager to show what he can do over a full season as the team’s prime back.
“I want to do that every game,” he said of his 2015 debut performance. “And if I do, we’ll be on the right path. If I had to play tomorrow, I’d be ready to go.”
Hyde is the top returning running back, and the 49ers likely will add more help in free agency or the draft, to go with Shaun Draughn, second-year man Mike Davis and former Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne.
A healthy Hyde, however, will be one of the key factors to Kelly’s attack in 2016.
“He’s a big, physical back who has that combination of size and speed,” Kelly said of Hyde after he was hired “He should be fun to work with.”