SANTA CLARA – Running back Carlos Hyde initially thought the season-ending left knee injury he sustained Saturday in Los Angeles might follow him into the 2017 season.
Fortunately for Hyde, the MRI examination on Christmas Day revealed an MCL sprain. He will rest, ice and rehab his left knee and be ready long before the beginning of the 49ers’ offseason program in April.
The bad news is Hyde's season was cut short with him standing at 988 rushing yards.
“It sucks not being able to get that thousand yards,” Hyde said on Wednesday. “Definitely coming up 12 yards shy is just more motivation to go into this season to grind hard and get ready 2017.”
In his three-year NFL career, Hyde has yet to make it healthy through a full season. He missed the final two games of 2014 with an ankle injury. Last season, he appeared in just seven games due to a stress fractured in his foot. This season, he missed two games with a shoulder sprain earlier in the season before the knee injury cut short his season.
At the suggestion that he could be prone to injury, Hyde said the past two season-ending conditions were unavoidable but the injury to the AC joint in his right shoulder could have been prevented.
“This injury with my knee and last year with my foot were just unfortunate injuries – just part of the game,” Hyde said. “Now the shoulder injury, that’s on me. (I) need to build my shoulders up and get my shoulders strong. That’s something I could’ve corrected, but I didn’t. Now I know.”
On Saturday, Hyde may narrowly avoided a more serious injury. Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines connected low on Hyde, who had just started turn upfield after reaching up to catch a pass on the left side from Colin Kaepernick.
Hyde said he did not consider Gaines’ hit a dirty play.
“It was just a football play,” Hyde said. “Not too many people are going to try to hit me up high. It’s part of the game. Someway, somehow, next time I’m in that position, try to avoid that. But, yeah, it’s just a football play.”