SANTA CLARA -– With the 49ers’ decision to sign running back DuJuan Harris off the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad, the team opted to go with a player with 26 games of experience over five NFL seasons.
Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst also suggested that Harris’ ability to play multiple roles on special teams made him a more attractive option in the event that he is needed to suit up in place of Shaun Draughn, who is day-to-day with a knee sprain.
The 49ers signed Harris on Tuesday instead of promoting Jarryd Hayne from their own practice squad.
“I think we know who Jarryd is,” Chryst said on Wednesday. “The other thing that you always want to evaluate is who you’re going to dress out on that 46. It’s not just the 53, but also the 46 and where does that fit with the special teams.
“Oftentimes any backup, whether you’re a backup running back or a backup linebacker or a backup tight end, what’s the value within the offensive or defensive plan and then what’s also the special team value?”
Chryst said Hayne has done a nice job on the practice squad. Hayne has started he has learned so much about football since moving from the 49ers’ 53-man roster. Hayne is in his first season of football after leaving a successful career in Australia’s National Rugby League.
“Jarryd definitely fits in,” Chryst said. “We’re excited about his future, but I think it comes down to maybe what the special teams roles are and who’s going to get that uniform of 46, not just the 53.”