SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
RB Elijah Mitchell out for six to eight weeks again with MCL sprain
Another stint on the injured reserve awaits San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell.
The second-year tailback suffered an MCL sprain against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, announced head coach Kyle Shanahan. Mitchell sustained the same injury in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, forcing him to miss the first half of San Francisco’s regular season. The injury has now affected his other knee and will require him to go on the IR once again while he’s on the mend, hoping to be back in six to eight weeks’ time.
This time it occurred on the first play of the second half, getting tackled for a short gain. Elijah Mitchell stayed in for a few snaps afterward before the ailment forced him to go to the bench, where he remained for the duration of the contest.
A tough blow for the team and the individual who just started to get his legs under him after a lengthy spell on the sideline.
“He’s pretty disappointed,” Shanahan said via conference call Monday. “To be right back there [on the IR], he’s down on it. He’s had really bad luck…Hopefully we can do our job here so when he comes back, we’re still playing.”
His timeline puts the earliest return at the start of the playoffs in the wild-card round. If he were to take the full eight weeks, he would return for the NFC Championship game, if the 49ers advance that far. Hoping it wasn’t as serious as last time, the tests Monday came back with the worst possible news for San Francisco.
#49ers RB Elijah Mitchell does indeed have an MCL sprain but it's a serious one. He's out 6 to 8 weeks.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 28, 2022
Meanwhile, fellow running back Christian McCaffrey is dealing with “knee irritation” from Week 12, but his injury isn’t believed to be a serious one, according to the head coach. Likely limited in practice to start the week, CMC has a real chance to suit up against the Miami Dolphins.
Guard Spencer Burford is also dealing with an ankle sprain from Sunday’s game. The 49ers lucked out here, with the injury seen as “lateral” rather than a high-ankle sprain. The rookie lineman will be monitored this week but could go for Week 13.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also survived the game with no serious injuries, despite getting his knee rolled up on by a Saints defensive tackle.
“It was a relief that no serious injuries came up. He was pretty sore today but hopefully, he’ll work that out by Wednesday. Nothing serious,” Shanahan added.
Defensive tackle Arik Armstead is also expected to return to practice Wednesday, having a good workout on Sunday. He has been out of the lineup since Week 4, dealing with foot and ankle injuries.
The team also signed veteran cornerback Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins to the practice squad Monday. San Francisco has had an interest in his services for most of the season, but the player was reluctant to play on a practice squad deal previously.