The San Francisco 49ers will be getting an important offensive player back this weekend. Running back Elijah Mitchell, who earlier this week was designated to return from injured reserve, looks like he is ready to play, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
"He's had a great week of practice," Shanahan said during a Thursday radio appearance on, per 49ersWebzone.com. "He looked real good today, and I'll talk to him here over Friday and Saturday, but right now, I'm expecting to get him up, and I expect to play him a little bit here on Sunday."
Mitchell has been limited to only four games this season due to multiple knee injuries. He sprained his MCL in Week 1 and did not return to the field until Week 10. By that time, the Niners had traded for Christian McCaffrey, so Mitchell was utilized in a bit of a reduced role. Still, he lasted only three games before suffering another knee injury, and has been out since Week 12.
On the season, Mitchell has 224 yards (5.6 per carry) on 40 rush attempts.
McCaffrey has yet to practice this week as he deals with knee and ankle ailments of his own, but he's also been on the injury report for the last several weeks and ended up playing in the games anyway. With the return of Mitchell and the presence of rookies Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price, the Niners do have an opportunity to manage McCaffrey's workload a bit more, and they may be able to do that against an opponent (the Cardinals) that is dealing with a barrage of injuries and seems likely to be unable to keep pace with San Francisco's offense.