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Elijah Mitchell Has Possible Sprained MCL After Injury vs. Saints, 49ers HC Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 27, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 02: San Francisco 49ers Running Back Elijah Mitchell (25) celebrates his touchdown during the NFL pro football game between the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers on January 2, 2022 at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell left Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints with a knee injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed after his team's 13-0 win that Mitchell may have a sprained MCL.

The 24-year-old was forced to exit San Francisco's season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears because of the same injury to his right knee, and he returned in Week 10. In his first three games, he ran for 189 yards on 33 carries.

Mitchell had reasonably high expectations into 2021 after a productive rookie campaign. He ran for 963 yards and five touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 137 yards and one score in 11 games.

Losing the Louisiana product was a tough blow for the Niners because depth at running back was already a problem coming into the year.

Jennifer Lee Chan @jenniferleechan

"There's not just like a store where you can go get quarterbacks anytime...or running backs." <br><br>Kyle Shanahan speaking truths on his conference call.

Trey Lance's season-ending injury took away what was another dimension to the rushing attack as well.

All of the injuries led the 49ers to acquire Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers.

Mitchell's return allowed the Niners to lessen the burden on McCaffrey, but the 2019 All-Pro will once again have to become the lead option on the ground.