49ers News: RB Jerick McKinnon Activated off PUP After Knee Injury Recovery

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon runs with the ball during NFL football practice at the team's headquarters Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers officially activated running back Jerick McKinnon from the physically unable to perform list, the team announced Tuesday. 

McKinnon missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL in practice eight days before the Niners' Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported the Niners will likely gradually get McKinnon back up to speed:

Matt Barrows @mattbarrows

Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL on Sept. 1, has been taken off of PUP. He's expected to be slowly eased into practices and might only take part in walk-throughs early on. #49ers

He's entering the second year of the four-year, $30 million contract he signed last offseason. San Francisco was looking for him to be a dynamic dual-threat option out of the backfield after finishing with 992 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in 2017.

With the obvious question marks surrounding McKinnon following his knee injury, the 49ers signed Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $8.5 million deal. Coleman ran for 800 yards and four touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 276 yards and five scores with the Atlanta Falcons last season.

Matt Breida was effective as San Francisco's primary running back as well, averaging 5.3 yards per carry in 14 appearances.

Having McKinnon is basically an added bonus for the team after he didn't suit up whatsoever. He could be particularly valuable as a pass-catcher since the Niners didn't radically transform their receiving corps. They signed Jordan Matthews and selected Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in the draft.

San Francisco opens the regular season Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving McKinnon with a month to get himself into game shape.