San Francisco 49ers Place Running Back on IR

The San Francisco 49ers have made it official with one of their injured offensive pieces. The team placed running back Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve, meaning he'll miss at least four games as he recovers from a knee injury. Mitchell suffered a sprained MCL in the 49ers' Week 12 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints. Initial timelines suggested he would miss 6-8 weeks, which could jeopardize the rest of his regular season.

Mitchell has been a productive back in his limited opportunities with the 49ers, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt and 6.0 yards per target on his 269 career touches. His absence should mean an increased workload for recently acquired running back Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers traded a bevy of picks for McCaffrey but have managed his touches carefully. He has exceeded 20 combined rushes and receptions only once in his five games with the team.

Mitchell joined the 49ers as their 194th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He quickly outperformed his draft stock, rushing for 963 yards at 4.6 yards per attempt and adding 137 yards through the air at 6.9 yards per target as a rookie. He'll contribute meaningful carries for the 49ers if they make the playoffs this year.
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