San Francisco 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell out two months with sprained MCL

Coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday that the San Francisco 49ers will not have running back Elijah Mitchell for approximately two months.

In Sunday’s 19-10 loss against the Chicago Bears, Mitchell sustained a sprained MCL to his right knee. Mitchell left the game in the second quarter. He was not expected to return until halftime.

“We’re estimating about two months, eight weeks, give or take a few,” Shanahan said. “So, hopefully, it goes well and it’s earlier but you never know with those things, so that’s what we’re guessing.”

Mitchell was ruled out of the game. Shanahan stated Monday that Mitchell sustained the injury on an 11-yard run off left tackle at 12:54 in the second quarter. Replays show that Bears safety Eddie Jackson dived to make the tackle against Mitchell and collided with his knee as Mitchell is putting his foot in the ground.

  • Mitchell stayed on the field for a few more plays, and helped block Deebo Samuel’s 6-yard touchdown at 10:11 in the second half. Mitchell’s last play was Samuel’s touchdown before he was ruled ineligible due to a knee injury.

    Mitchell’s young career has been slowed by a number of ailments. Mitchell set a franchise record of 963 rookie rushing yards in 2021 and added five touchdowns to his total, despite missing six games because of rib, knee, finger and shoulder injuries.

    Mitchell gained some weight in the offseason in hopes that it would help him to deal with the physical demands of running for the NFL. Shanahan believed Mitchell was well-placed for a big season, having rushed six times for 41 yards prior to the injury.

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    “He was pretty down,” Shanahan said. “For obvious reasons, we’re down for him. Elijah went through a lot last year, it’s well documented the injuries he had. He really worked hard this offseason. He was feeling really good going into that game and man, I thought he looked really good before he got hurt.

    “He was just unlucky. I tried to tell him not to lose his head. With his foot in the ground, he would have hurt himself. I think it was just good that it wasn’t worse.”

    Mitchell is slated to go on injured reserve this week, creating a roster spot for the 49ers. For now, they have the trio of veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. and rookies Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price on the 53-man roster. Wilson and Samuel got the bulk of the running back carries after Mitchell left Sunday’s game.

    Wilson figures to get the first crack at replacing Mitchell, but Shanahan said the untested rookies will be asked to contribute as well.

    “We think they are two talented players who can help us run the ball well.” Shanahan said. “But they have to grow up fast.”

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