49ers Get Disappointing Update On Star Player’s Status

San Francisco 49ers, Elijah Mitchell


Elijah Mitchell being tackled in Week 1.

After watching Elijah Mitchell leave the field in the second quarter of the San Francisco 49ers‘ loss to the Chicago Bears, it felt like an inflection point in the worst possible way. Though Mitchell committed a false start penalty on the Niners’ second offensive play of the game, he immediately rebounded with a 16-yard run before amassing 25 total yards on six carries through the 13:00 mark in the second quarter.

But then, disaster struck; after ripping off a 15-yard run on first and 10 at Chicago’s 26, Mitchell was taken to the ground with a brutal shot to the knee from safety Eddie Jackson, and he was never the same. Mitchell attempted one more run, but after coming down awkwardly on his right pivot foot, he gained just one yard and was ruled out of the rest of the game shortly thereafter.

After being ruled out for the remainder of the game, Mitchell had an MRI on his right knee that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, confirmed the diagnosis of a sprained MCL, which could sideline the second-year rusher for the next two months. While the Niners still have three other running backs in Jeff Wilson, Tyrion Davis-Price, and Jordan Mason on the active roster, overcoming the loss of Mitchell will be anything but simple both on the field and in the locker room.

Kyle Shanahan Confirms The Loss Of Elijah Mitchell

When speaking to reporters via a Monday conference call dictated by 49ers WebZone, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the unfortunate news initially reported by Schefter.

“Elijah Mitchell, MCL sprain,” Shanahan said. “Not going to need surgery, but it’s going to be some time. He’ll end up going on IR here. … We’re estimating about two months, eight weeks, give or take a few. So hopefully, it goes well, and it’s earlier, but you never know with those things. That’s what we’re guessing.”

When asked how Mitchell was handling the injury, as his rookie season was similarly marred by a series of snap-stealing injuries, Shanahan responded honestly.

“He was pretty down,” Shanahan said. “And 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, and he was feeling really good going into that game. Man, I thought he looked really good before he got hurt.”

“Just an unfortunate hit that he had. I’m trying to tell him to keep his head up. Anybody who would have got caught in that situation would have gotten hurt with the way his foot planted in the ground, and the guy hit his knee. I think we’re just real fortunate it wasn’t worse.”

Elijah Mitchell’s San Francisco 49ers Teammates Have His Back

Though Mitchell won’t be back on the field until at least November, he won’t be absent from the locker room or from the thoughts of his teammates. When Kyle Juszczyk was asked about Mitchell’s injury by Tracy Sandler of Fangirl Sports Network, he removed the blame from Mitchell’s shoulders.

“He hates to be injured,” Juszczyk said. “He doesn’t want to be that guy, but this one was out of his hands. It was a well-timed hit. Anybody would have gotten hurt there.”

Even with Mitchell set to hit IR, the 49ers should still be able to weather his absence thanks to their depth at the running back position, even if, according to Shanahan per Sandler, the rookie duo of Mason and Davis-Price are “going to have to grow up fast.”

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