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Macus Lattimore at the Crossroads: Considering Retirement

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National media reports say Marcus is weighing whether to give up Pro Football.

USA TODAY Sports

As if our devastating loss to Tennessee is not enough, you get to wake up to this: reports are filtering in from the Niners' training facility in Santa Clara that Marcus Lattimore may elect not to proceed with his comeback attempt:

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the San Francisco 49ers running back is weighing his options after experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right knee and legs, according to a team sources and a source close to the player. Lattimore was not on the sideline during Sunday's 13-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

"(I) did not see Marcus," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said during his Sunday postgame news conference. "I'm sure we'll have an announcement about that."

According to a source within the 49ers, Marcus has been taking time 'to contemplate his football future'.

"Nobody knows Marcus’ body like Marcus, so he has to think some things over," said the anonymous source.

This is depressing news, especially after the first reports from last Wednesday's and Thursday's practices were so positive.

But then came the news that he had missed Friday practice and that his status was up in the air.

Is it a minor set-back or worse?  We don't know.   He was obviously medically-cleared by the 49ers team doctors.  It's not like those physicians or the franchise would rush him to soon, when they've demonstrated incredible and admirable patience up to this time.  And after missing the equivalent of two football seasons (last half of '12, all of '13 and half of '14), plus not participating in a lot of contact drills, etc. during that time, we had to expect there would be some soreness - especially after Coach Harbaugh indicated they would do some heavier-than-usual hitting in practice to help get Marcus ready.

Honestly, though, if it was minor would we be hearing this kind of news?

What does it mean?  Either Marcus hangs up his cleats and moves into the next phase of his life - grad school, business, coaching, non-profit - what have you.  He will be great at whatever he chooses.   Or he continues to rehab - perhaps on his own, perhaps with the Niners.

Whether San Francisco keep him on the reserve/NFI List for the balance of the season remains to be seen.  They have been great to him throughout this whole process, but Pro Football is a ruthless business.  Can they keep paying a guy who cannot help them - assuming he still wants to stay?

We will know soon enough as the Niners' organization is expected to make announcement today on Marcus Lattimore's status.

David Fucillo at our sister blog Niners Nation had this to say:

Lattimore's football-playing future does not appear to be looking good, but we'll probably find out more in the coming days. Whatever the case, hopefully he figures out whatever he needs to figure out. Selfishly, it would be great to see him get back on the football field, but it is up to him to decide what the next step.

It's well-known that Marcus is a man of faith, so we can be assured he will be making a prayerful decision.  I also hopes he gets some outside medical opinions (no knock on the Niners' team doctors - it's just prudent to get another consultation); I also hope he has spoken to to a sports psychologist, too - zero shame in that either, as there has definitely go to be a  psychological and emotional component in all this.

Obviously, he will have a serious tete-a-tete with both Jim Harbaugh and G.M. Trent Baalke.   Maybe he already has for all we know at this point.

The entire Gamecock community is behind you Marcus.  You have our love and support no matter what.

Also a tip of the cap to the 49ers organization for the professional and classy way they have worked with Marcus during these past two years.