|Ht / Wt:||5'6" / 169 lb.|
|Drafted:||2018 / UDFA|
Gardner underwent shoulder surgery last week but is still looking to sign with an NFL team and return in time for training camp, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Analysis: Gardner was attracting attention from NFL teams based on his performance with the San Diego Fleet of the AAF, racking up 311 yards and three touchdowns on 64 carries in eight games. While the surgery might deter teams from taking a chance on the Humboldt State graduate, he's still hoping for a second chance at the NFL after he failed the make the 49ers' 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent in 2018.
Gardner leads the Alliance of American Football in rushing through three weeks, with 35 carries for 281 yards (8.0 average) and three touchdowns, as well as five catches for 45 yards.
Analysis: Gardner is the only AAF player with 200 yards on the ground, while Trent Richardson leads the league in both carries (59) and rushing touchdowns (six) despite ranking dead last at 2.5 yards per carry (min. 10 attempts). Gardner can really grab the NFL's attention if he becomes a bigger factor in the passing game --probably a necessity for relevance given his lack of height (5-foot-6) and subpar timed speed (4.58 40). He failed to crack the 49ers' 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie in 2018, attempting a huge jump in competition after he scored 74 touchdowns in 41 games at Division II Humboldt State. The stocky 24-year-old hasn't gotten much help from his teammates on the San Diego Fleet, accounting for three of the squad's five touchdowns amidst a 1-2 start to the season.
Gardner was released by the 49ers on Friday, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Gardner was a longshot to make the roster as an undrafted free agent out of Humboldt State, but he'll look to potentially latch on with the practice squad.
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