INDIANAPOLIS – Running back Carlos Hyde lost playing time to the “hot hand,” and linebacker NaVorro Bowman spent time on the 49ers’ sideline to remain “fresh.”
Two of the 49ers’ well-known veteran players with uncertain futures beyond this season saw their least-amount of play time for the season on Sunday in the team’s 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Backup running back Matt Breida played 35 of the 49ers’ 72 offensive plays, while Hyde was on the field for 33 snaps. Third-string running back Raheem Mostert played four snaps.
Bowman, who usually plays every snap, was on the field for 58 of the 49ers’ 76 offensive plays. Brock Coyle, who did not start, played a season-high 25 snaps on defense.
Coach Kyle Shanahan explained his decisions after the game.
“Really, we have three backs that are up,” Shanahan said. “And we try to give them all carries and go with the hot hand. We felt like Breida was the hot hand at the time.
“(Bowman) had a stinger during the game so he went out for a little bit there. We also had plans to take him out of a couple of series throughout the game just to make sure to keep him fresh.”
Bowman confirmed he sustained a mild stinger, but he said the condition did not keep him out of action.
Hyde is in the final year of his original four-year contract and is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season. Bowman appears unlikely to be back on the 49ers next season with salary and bonuses scheduled to pay him $9.45 million in 2018.
Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:
Quarterback – Brian Hoyer 72
Running back – Matt Breida 35, Kyle Juszczyk 35, Carlos Hyde 33, Raheem Mostert 4
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 63, Marquise Goodwin 55, Trent Taylor 35, Aldrick Robinson 22, Victor Bolden 3
Tight end – George Kittle 40, Garrett Celek 32, Logan Paulsen 3
Offensive line – Joe Staley 72, Trent Brown 72, Daniel Kilgore 72, Brandon Fusco 72, Laken Tomlinson 72
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 67, Solomon Thomas 66, Arik Armstead 53, Earl Mitchell 47, Aaron Lynch 22, Elvis Dumervil 22, D.J. Jones 16, Xavier Cooper 12
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 58, Ray-Ray Armstrong 57, Brock Coyle 25, Eli Harold 24
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 72, Rashard Robinson 62, K’Waun Williams 55, Ahkello Witherspoon 6
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 76, Jimmie Ward 76, Lorenzo Jerome 20
Coyle 29, Elijah Lee 24, Celek 23, Mosert 23, Harold 21, Bradley Pinion 18, Pita Taumoepenu 16, Bolden 16, Johnson 15, Paulsen 15, Asa Jackson 13, Breida 13, Tartt 12, Kyle Nelson 11, Jerome 11, Armstrong 10, R.Robinson 9, A.Robinson 7, Ward 7, Juszczyk 6, Buckner 6, Thomas 6, Armstead 6, Mitchell 6, Jones 6, Garry Gilliam 5, Zane Beadles 5, Robbie Gould 5, Witherspoon 5, Staley 5, Brown 5, Kilgore 5, Fusco 5, Taylor 4, Williams 1
DID NOT PLAY
QB C.J. Beathard
WR Kendrick Bourne
DB Eric Reid (knee)
LB Mark Nzeocha
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
S Adrian Colbert (hamstring)
LB Dekoda Watson (groin)
OL Erik Magnuson