The 30-year-old running back Tim Hightower signed with the San Francisco 49ers this weekend marking his sixth season in the National Football League (NFL), according to franchise general manager John Lynch. After a couple of seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Hightower is reuniting with his former offensive coordinator in Washington Redskins, the new San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Hightower’s professional American football career has been anything but typical. Originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the running back spent three season with the team, completing 1,733 yards on 439 carries and 23 touchdowns over the first three years of his pro career in NFL.
Hightower spent his first three seasons going between the job of a starter and backup running back, with the club trying to bring in rookies to be the next franchise rusher. But every time the rookies messed up or got injured, Hightower was next in line for the starting role.
The Arizona Cardinals wound up by trading the running back to Washington Redskins back in early 2011, for defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a sixth-rounder draft selection. Hightower was only signed to a single seasn contract deal, and ended up concluding the capaign on injury reserve list after tearing his ACL in Week 6 of the regular season. Despite the injury, the Redskins re-signed him to another one-year contract, before eventually waiving him in late August during the final round of active roster cuts.
Hightower was released just prior to the start of the 2012 NFL season and went without being added to an NFL roster for four seasons. It wasn’t until the New Orleans Saints inked him in January 2015 that he got his second chance playing on the league.
The running back made his regular season debut with the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 and both sides never looked back. Hightower’s first taste of on-field action saw 11 carries for 46 yards.He completed a career-high 28 carries for 85 yards and a single touchdown.
Hightower scored another one-year contract deal with New Orleans Saints during last year’s free agency period, and he played in all 16 contests during the 2016 NFL regular season. When teammate Mark Ingram was sidelined, he took over the starting job, and concluded the season with 548 yards and four touchdowns on 133 carries. Hightower racked up 102 yards on 26 carries against the Seattle Seahawks last season, and 122 yards and three touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2015.