Last year, Marcus Lattimore served as a worst-case scenario for how one play can derail an outstanding football career by playing in college. While playing against the Tennessee Volunteers, Lattimore suffered a horrific knee injury after being hit low. He dislocated his knee and audiences cringed as his leg flopped when he hit the ground.
But as bad as the injury looked, it didn’t end the 22-year-old’s career. In fact, he actually healed up enough by the 2013 NFL Draft to show up and amaze scouts with his progress. It was enough to convince the San Francisco 49ers to take a chance on him with a fourth-round pick.
Since then, Lattimore has continued to work out and rehab his knee on the non-football injury list. And now, 11 weeks into the NFL season, he appears ready to start practicing for the Niners and earn a roster spot.
Nobody’s expecting Lattmore to have a big impact on San Francisco’s playoff run. After all, he has a loaded backfield to contend with since the 49ers feature Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and LaMichael James. However, he’ll certainly benefit from being out with the team and learning whatever he can. “It would be important to have my mind ready for the next year, real excited about it,” Lattimore said.
He went on to add, “I’ve learned more in these four months than I’ve ever learned as far as how the defense plays, how to read fronts, how to read linebackers, coverage….I know so much about the game in the last four months, (more) than I’ve learned in the last 18 years – so it’s been big.”
Of course, Lattimore is a football player, so it’s not like he wants to watch film on picking up blitzes and finding open running lanes for the next few months. He expressed this by saying, “Everything feels good – I should be out there.”
During his injury-shortened, three-year career at South Carolina, Marcus Lattimore rushed for 2,677 yards, tallied 767 receiving yards and scored 41 total touchdowns. Many expected Lattimore to be a first or second round NFL Draft pick before his junior year began. However, the dislocated knee injury that he suffered put his football career in jeopardy. Luckily though, the 5’11”, 221-pound back was able to rebound and still get picked in the 2013 Draft. The next step is getting out on the field in some meaningful situations.