49ers rookie running back Elijah Mitchell was absent from the preseason opener. It turns out a hip injury was the culprit. After San Francisco’s loss to the Chiefs, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Mitchell has an adductor injury that will sideline him for multiple weeks.
That’s a significant blow for the 49ers’ backfield. Mitchell was having a nice showing in camp after getting selected in the sixth round of this year’s draft. He figured to be in the mix for the third or fourth running back spot with a chance to carve out a role in the offense.
He could still make the club, but if he misses the entire preseason and the coaching staff can’t see him in games, it could be very tough to keep him over a player like JaMycal Hasty or Wayne Gallman who both looked good in Saturday’s preseason opener.
Mitchell was taken No. 194 overall out of Lousiana-Lafayette. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and scored 41 rushing touchdowns on 527 attempts.