During the San Francisco 49ers' first game of the season, the team lost a focal point of their offense. Second-year running back Elijah Mitchell will be sidelined for the next two months with a sprained MCL.
The loss of Elijah Mitchell will be felt throughout the offense. During his rookie season, he ran for 963 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also brought in 19 receptions for 137 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Before going down, Mitchell was running strong in week one. He finished the day with 41 yards on six rushes. But now he finds himself on injured reserve.
With Mitchell being on IR, the 49ers have elected to address the running back position.
Veteran ball carrier Jeff Wilson will be elevated to a starting role. Rookie running back Tyrion Davis-Price and Jordan Mason will bring the depth past that.
But the 49ers have also elected to bring a veteran running back in to compete for time. And this comes with the addition of a former 1000-yard rusher.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers have signed veteran Marlon Mack to their practice squad.
49ers are signing former Texans’ RB Marlon Mack to their practice squad, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2022
With Elijah Mitchell out for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to have another proven back on the roster. And Mack does just that.
Over the past two seasons, Mack has appeared in just seven games. But at just 26 years old, there's no reason to believe he won’t still be effective.
During the 2019 season, Mack ran for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns. If he can be even slightly effective on this offense, he will be doing enough.
Until Mitchell returns, Wilson will be RB1. Davis-Price will likely serve as RB2. But Mack could eventually step into the RB3 role.