SANTA CLARA -- 49ers running back Matt Breida might have to get healthier before returning to the field.
After the 49ers' close 33-30 loss to the Packers last week, Breida said he would have to be “in a wheelchair to not go.” He ended the evening in Green Bay with 14 carries for 61 yards.
It was a different story Sunday in the lopsided 39-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. On the first play, Breida aggravated his ankle injury and had to come out of the game. The team’s medical staff taped both of his ankles, and he returned. On his first carry after re-entering, Breida lost a fumble.
He finished the day with a modest five carries for 15 yards -- his lowest output of the season.
Coach Kyle Shanahan has been complementary of Breida’s toughness, but he realizes the team might have to take another look at the running back's effectiveness while he rehabs his injury.
“That’s something we’ll have to look into hard,” Shanahan said. “It’s based off how he looks in practice. Breida’s done a very good job recovering throughout the week. He’s had very good practices making all the cuts and everything on Fridays and Saturdays. Obviously, that first play today, it went. When that happens on the first play, we want to see the film and see what happened.
"He was begging to come back in the game the second half and felt like he was good enough, too, but getting at what you’re talking about, that’s why we made that decision to keep him down. Hopefully he’ll heal up more this week. We’ll have to reassess it again.”
Breida reiterated his desire to play after the loss, but he'll do what’s best for him and the 49ers.
“I want to go out there and play,” Breida said, “but at the same time, if I’m injured, and I can’t go on, it’s not the best thing for the team. I tried to keep on playing. I have to be smart and not hurt my team at the same time. If I can’t go out there and go 100 percent, I have to let the guys that can, do it.”
When asked what happened on that first play, Breida explained it wasn’t anything specific. He said he just aggravated the injury that has been nagging him for a few weeks.
Potentially taking himself out of the game because of injury is not an easy thing for Breida to say or admit.
“It’s extremely hard,” Breida said. “Like I said, I love this game and, you know, it’s extremely hard for me to say that to myself. But at the end of the day, I got to do what’s best for the team.”
Raheem Mostert went in for the injured Breida, and finished as the 49ers' top back Sunday. He rushed for 59 yards on seven carries, and had four catches for 19 yards.
Mostert spoke highly of Breida’s toughness after the game.
"Matt is a warrior,” Mostert said. “He fights. That’s what he does. So, I wouldn’t expect him to quit just yet, because he loves the fight, and you know, we’re all going to be behind him 110 percent, no matter what he’s going through.”