Kelly: Hyde's season-ending knee injury does not require surgery

Kelly: Hyde's season-ending knee injury does not require surgery

SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde will not be available for the final game of the season, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said on Monday.

However, the MRI examination Hyde underwent on Christmas Day provided mostly good news for the third-year running back. Hyde sustained a medial-collateral ligament sprain of his left knee. The injury will not require surgery.

Hyde will miss the final game of the season on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. But the injury will not prevent Hyde from any offseason workouts to prepare for the 2017 season.

“The fact that it’s a non-surgical thing is the thing that’s positive,” Kelly said. “It’s unfortunate we won’t have him for Seattle, but it’s good news for Carlos.”

Hyde sustained the injury on Saturday after catching a short pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As Hyde made the catch and turned upfield, Los Angeles Rams defensive back E.J. Gaines dove at Hyde’s knees. Gaines forced the fumble, which the Rams recovered.

"I think Kap was pressured a little bit," Kelly said. "It was a naked roll out and we slipped Carlos into the flat real quick. I think there was a defensive end up the field a little quick and Kap was trying to bump it out there quick. I don’t think it was exactly out in front of him so he kind of had to turn back to catch it."

Los Angeles scored off the turnover to take a 14-point lead, but the 49ers rallied with 15 points in the final five minutes for a 22-21 victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Hyde finishes the season with 988 yards rushing with six touchdowns on 217 carries. He averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt. Hyde also caught 27 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns.

The 49ers suit up three running backs for games. Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris are likely to be joined on the 46-man active roster for Sunday's game by Mike Davis, who has been inactive for much of this season.

Kwon Alexander will fill Reuben Foster's void, John Lynch believes

Kwon Alexander will fill Reuben Foster's void, John Lynch believes

49ers general manager John Lynch acknowledged that he signed Kwon Alexander to fill the void left by former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, who was released last season. 

In an interview with 49ers.com, Lynch spoke about how he and his staff brought back several familiar faces to the linebackers room. He was also very frank about what the team lost in Foster as a player. 

“Let’s be honest,” Lynch said. “We had a void that we thought we had filled with Reuben Foster. Things transpired there. We had a void there and that stinks but you can’t just sit there and pout, you gotta say ‘OK, let’s do something.'

“We needed a dynamic football player at that position. It’s a very critical position in our scheme and this became the guy. Kwon became the guy that we wanted to be that guy.” 

Alexander has many of the same on-field characteristics as Foster. He’s known as a hard hitter who flies around the field, making players think twice about going across the middle. He may make some mistakes in the game, but his passion and heart are recognized by his teammates. 

“I think what stood out to us with Kwon,” Lynch said, “he’s a dynamic football player. He’s a tone setter. You need tone-setters on your defense. 

“I think he’s a guy that when you watch him, when you talk to people who played against him, people who played with him, he’s exactly that. His type of play running all over the field, hitting people, getting the ball, it’s contagious. We need that.” 

The 49ers' admiration for Alexander grew as they did more research on him. They understand it may take some time before he returns to 100 percent health.

[RELATED: Kwon Alexander overcame tragedy, adversity]

“The more we watched him the more we liked,” Lynch said. “We knew he was coming off an ACL injury but we got comfortable with the medical part and also got comfortable with 'Hey, we are going to wait as long as it takes.' This is a long-term investment. He’s doing very well in his rehab.” 

The staff ideally would like to see Alexander lined up next to Fred Warner, who had a stand-out rookie season. They also brought back Elijah Lee, special teams contributor Mark Nzeocha, and signed ex-Panther David Mayo to a two-year contract to fill out the linebackers room.

Top NFL draft prospect Josh Allen thinks he's best player available

Top NFL draft prospect Josh Allen thinks he's best player available

Josh Allen does not lack confidence.

The edge rusher out of Kentucky, who is linked to both the 49ers with the No. 2 pick and Raiders at No. 4 in next month's NFL draft, spoke highly of his abilities during his pro day Friday.

"You can just watch the film, watch the games," Allen told ESPN on Friday. "If you're talking about stats, I mean, I finished second in the nation in sacks, playing in the SEC, which doesn't throw the ball as much as other conferences.

"I'm physical. I played the whole season. I played every game. I'm healthy. I just think I'm the best edge rusher, the best pass rusher, the best overall player in this draft."

OK then.

Allen put up tremendous numbers in his senior season at Kentucky, totaling 17 sacks and 88 tackles, including 56 solo. The 49ers and Raiders both desperately need someone who can rush the quarterback, so Allen fits the mold for both teams.

Allen told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that he has scheduled pre-draft meetings with both the 49ers and the Raiders.

The latest speculation is that the 49ers will draft Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick, as the Cardinals -- who own the No. 1 pick -- have been heavily linked to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. If both Bosa and Allen are available to the 49ers, GM John Lynch will have his pick of the two edge rushers.

[RELATED: Draft prospect Quinnen Williams dined with 49ers at IHOP]

The Raiders, meanwhile, have to wait until No. 4 to see if Allen is still available. If both the Cardinals and 49ers pass on the Kentucky standout, only the Jets at No. 3 would stand in their way of getting -- as Allen puts it -- "the best overall player in the draft."

Time will tell whether Allen lives up to his bold proclamation. But it seems as if the 49ers or Raiders would be lucky to find out.