Elijah Mitchell "continues to look like the clear-cut No. 1 option at RB" for the 49ers, ESPN's Nick Wagoner tweeted on Friday. That's been the consistent sentiment coming out of 49ers camp so far. Mitchell figures to lose some goal-line work to QB Trey Lance and doesn't project for a big role in the passing game. But he could still deliver value on his RB24 ADP.
49ers RB Elijah Mitchell has a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of the entire preseason, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "Mitchell is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season," Schefter adds. It's still disconcerting news, though, on a player that dealt with a bunch of different injuries as a rookie last year (although he had no hamstring trouble). We'll see when Mitchell is able to get back on the field. RB Trey Sermon drew the start in Friday night's preseason opener.
49ers insider Grant Cohn expects RB Elijah Mitchell to remain the team's clear lead back this season. "Elijah's good. I don't necessarily think they're gonna dial back his workload," Cohn said on the Draft Sharks podcast. "The issue with him was that he was 205 pounds and kept getting hurt ... This year he's 215 [pounds]. He's way bigger ... So I think the idea is, he's the starter." Mitchell averaged a big 18.8 carries per game last year. If he gets anything close to that in 2022, he'll return value at his 5th-round price tag.
NBC Bay Area's Matt Maiocco says 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan "appears determined to deploy more of a backs-by-committee approach" this season. That would obviously hurt the touch count for RB Elijah Mitchell, who averaged 18.8 carries per game as a rookie. He also missed 6 games with multiple injuries, though, and needed a knee "clean-up" after the season. San Francisco added RB Tyrion Davis-Price in Round 3 of the NFL Draft and get Jeff Wilson Jr. back to full health after he basically lost 2020 to a meniscus tear. Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty also remain but will likely need to fight their way into contention for touches. Mitchell is going RB24 in FFPC drafting and RB23 on Underdog right now. That's not a terrible range, but we're not excited about his 2022 outlook -- especially in full-PPR formats.
The 49ers held RB Elijah Mitchell out of the offseason program following a "clean-up" knee procedure. While an exact date is unknown, Mitchell underwent the procedure sometime in early 2022. Per team insider Matt Barrows, Mitchell is “expected” to return for training camp. Frankly, it’d be a major surprise if he’s not on the field for day 1. But we’ll keep a close eye on the 2nd-year back who’s fresh off posting 207-963-5 in 11 games (10 starts). He'll be pushed for touches by Jeff Wilson, Trey Sermon and rookie 3rd-rounder Tyrion Davis-Price.
The Athletic's Matt Barrows expects to see "plenty of rotation" in the 49ers' backfield this season. That wasn't the case last year, when RB Elijah Mitchell dominated carries whenever he was healthy. But Barrows believes "the 49ers are hesitant to give Mitchell or any of the running backs too great a load this season" after Mitchell dealt with a variety of injuries in 2021. Barrows expects rookie RB Ty Davis-Price to be part of San Francisco's RB rotation. Trey Sermon, Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty are also on the roster.
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