(Reuters) - Former Australian Rugby League champion Jarryd Hayne was promoted to the San Francisco 49ers active roster from the practice squad, the NFL team announced on Saturday.
The 49ers, 4-10 this season, have a banged up backfield. Running backs Shaun Draughn, Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, and Mike Davis are out with injuries, leading to Hayne’s activation for San Francisco’s game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Hayne had an impressive training camp and made San Francisco's opening day roster. But the running back was used sparingly in the first seven games, gaining only 25 yards on eight carries and had eight punt returns for 76 yards.
He also fumbled three punt returns and was cut on Oct. 31. Once he was waived through the league, Hayne was assigned to the 49ers practice roster.
Hayne left the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) and guaranteed lucrative income in a quest to make it in the NFL.
Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both