SANTA CLARA -- Running back Matt Breida has been listed as questionable for five of the 49ers’ last six games.
He has not missed a game.
In fact, after giving the subject some thought, Breida disclosed he has not missed a game since his freshman year of high school, when he sat out with a broken forearm.
“You just play through it,” Breida said. “You’re never really going to be healthy. I think there are a lot of guys, it depends on whether or not they’re willing to play or they want to play or if they can play.”
Breida has started every game since Week 2 of this season despite dealing with knee, shoulder and ankle issues. When the season opened, he was expected to share the load with veteran Alfred Morris. But Breida has taken over as the team's primary back.
Breida leads the 49ers with 531 yards and two touchdowns on 96 rushing attempts. He ranks ninth in the NFL, and nobody with more rushing yards can top his 5.5-yard average.
While coach Kyle Shanahan gave the team four days off after the 49ers’ 34-3 victory over the Raiders last Thursday, there were no days off for Breida, who received regular treatment on his ailing body parts.
“It definitely helped me out a lot,” Breida said. “I’m starting to get back on the right track.”
Breida should be the healthiest he has been since Week 3 -- when he sustained a knee sprain in Kansas City -- on Monday when the 49ers face the New York Giants at Levi’s Stadium. Then, he will get additional time to recover during the bye week before he returns to his home area with a Nov. 25 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In Week 4, Breida’s shoulder popped out against the Los Angeles Chargers. One week later against the Arizona Cardinals, he sustained an ankle sprain. He compared the injuries this season to what he experienced as a sophomore at Georgia Southern, when he played through shoulder and ankle issues.
Earlier this season, Shanahan suggested the 49ers might give Breida a week off to rest his body. But Breida has been such an important part of the offense, and he insisted on playing. This is the first week in a while that there is no question Breida will be available.