The signing of Tevin Coleman led to speculation, but Lynch confirmed McKinnon is still part of the plan for 2019. Of course, the 49ers would be foolish not to listen if another organization were to approach them with a serious trade offer for McKinnon or Matt Breida (ankle). The current alignment points to four running backs on the 53-man roster, as the aforementioned trio is joined by special teams ace Raheem Mostert, who recently signed a three-year contract. McKinnon, Breida and Coleman are all viable candidates for the starting job, though the former first needs to complete his rehab from the torn ACL he suffered Sept. 1. Multiple reports this offseason have suggested McKinnon is ahead of schedule and should be ready for the start of training camp.
Speaking a couple weeks ago, coach Kyle Shanahan said he expects McKinnon to handle the lead backfield job in 2019, with the prized signing from last offseason making good progress in his recovery from the ACL tear he suffered Sept. 1. The addition of Coleman creates some doubt about the 49ers' confidence in Breida and McKinnon, but there hasn't been any suggestion the latter is in danger of being released before Apr. 1 when his 2019 base salary ($3.7 million) will become guaranteed. Assuming he sticks around and makes a full recovery, McKinnon will be part of a three-way battle for playing time this summer.
It's an odd comment given that McKinnon has yet to play a game for the team, while Matt Breida (ankle) finished fourth in the NFL with 5.3 yards per carry in 2018. The 49ers did sign McKinnon to a four-year, $30 million contract last offseason, but the structure of the deal makes it relatively painless to release him after 2019. With all reports suggesting McKinnon is on schedule or even ahead in his rehab from a preseason ACL tear, the most likely scenario features the former Viking competing with Breida during training camp. Shanahan may view McKinnon as the early favorite, but it should be an interesting battle to track all summer, with both players ultimately expected to handle significant roles.
While he presumably hasn't been sprinting or cutting, McKinnon recently was spotted catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo, who also is working his way back from an ACL tear. The 49ers believe both players are on pace to take the field for the start of training camp in late July, but the positive early progress doesn't make it a sure thing. Once healthy, McKinnon will face stiff competition for playing time from 2018 breakout star Matt Breida (ankle), who ranked fourth among qualified players with 5.3 yards per carry this past season.
McKinnon (knee) caught passes from Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) recently, SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
Both players are working back from ACL tears, with McKinnon suffering his injury Sept. 1 and Garoppolo suffering his Sept. 23. The 26-year-old running back seems to be on schedule in his recovery, but he still figures to be absent or limited throughout the offseason program and into OTAs/minicamp. Once he returns to full participation in practice, McKinnnon will face stiff competition for playing time from Matt Breida, who averaged 5.3 yards on 153 carries despite battling through an ankle injury for most of the 2018 campaign. For what it's worth, there hasn't been any report of Breida requiring offseason surgery.
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|