The San Francisco 49ers may be without their starting running back when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. Rookie Elijah Mitchell, who carried the ball 27 times during the team's upset victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, is listed as doubtful on the 49ers final injury report due to a broken finger and a rib issue, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. Previously, general manager John Lynch said his running back would be a game-time decision.
"We will see," Lynch said, per KNBR's Brian Murphy. "He had the type of break [where] they thought he could function. But surgery might have been different than we anticipated. Pain tolerance is not an issue, but he has to be able to function. We will take it till game time."
Mitchell already missed two games earlier this season with an injured shoulder, and he has been limited in practices in recent weeks as he dealt with sore ribs.
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The team's sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mitchell quickly surpassed third-round pick Trey Sermon on the depth chart during training camp. When Raheem Mostert was lost for the season with a knee injury in Week 1, Mitchell took over as the team's lead ball-carrier and has been the backfield leader when healthy throughout the season.
On the year, Mitchell has carried 116 times for 560 yards (4.8 per carry) and three touchdowns. In his absence, recently-returned veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. is likely to lead the backfield on early downs, while fullback Kyle Juszczyk would presumably be the passing-down back. Coach Kyle Shanahan has shown throughout the year that the team does not trust Sermon to fill any of those roles unless no other backs are available. As for running back JaMycal Hasty, he was ruled out this week due to an ankle injury.