And for the first time ever, a former professional rugger could play a big role for his team come game day.
While it’s very likely Jarryd Hayne won’t see many snaps, if any at all, out of the backfield, there’s a good chance the former NRL star could see some action on special teams Monday night when the San Francisco 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings.
“Very confident in his ability to field a punt, but again, how much else can you do? What can you do for the team?” San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula said, via 49ers.com. “The things that we’re doing this week, do they fit your skill set? That’s where that all comes down to in my head.”
Even though the buzz around Hayne is enormous, it has just been an ordinary game week for the former Parramatta Eel.
“This is just another week to train and to learn the game,” Hayne said. “Things haven’t changed. It’s exactly the same for me.
“This is what we as athletes do, we prepare the best we can and whatever happens in the future happens.”
While it’s unknown right now what the plan exactly is for Hayne Monday night – and he might even be inactive – I expect the dual-sport athlete to see some time in the return game. Hayne is currently listed as the starting kick and punt returner along side Reggie Bush on the 49ers’ depth chart.
“We probably haven’t seen the real Jarryd Hayne yet,” special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said, via Sporting News. “I’m sure he’ll be here pretty soon and I can’t wait to see him.”
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