49ers' Jerick McKinnon 'On a Better Track' to Return from Injury, Says Lynch

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 10, 2020

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 9: Jerick McKinnon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the field prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi Stadium on August 9, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 24-21. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers remain optimistic Jerick McKinnon can make an impact for them after missing the last two seasons due to injuries. 

Speaking on The 49ers Insider Podcast (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco), general manager John Lynch said the team is "on a better track" to get McKinnon back in 2020. 

McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million deal with San Francisco in March 2018. He was expected to become the team's starting running back but tore his ACL during a team workout before the season began. 

After some hope during organized team activities for a return in 2019, Lynch told KNBR's Murph and Mac Show last August that McKinnon suffered a setback in his recovery that was "not encouraging."

San Francisco placed McKinnon on season-ending injured reserve Aug. 31, with Lynch announcing the veteran running back would undergo another operation on his knee. 

In a May 6 Instagram video, McKinnon noted the follow-up surgery was to pack the ACL graft with bone marrow from his hip. He agreed to a restructured contract that will pay him the veteran minimum in 2020, per SiriusXM NFL Radio's Adam Caplan

The 49ers have a wealth of running backs to choose from, with Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert likely to share the bulk of the carries. McKinnon, Jeff Wilson and undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty will likely compete for the No. 3 job. 

McKinnon's last appearance in an NFL game was during the 2017 season with the Minnesota Vikings. He ran for 570 yards and three touchdowns on 150 carries.