Hamstring injury expected to keep San Francisco 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell out of preseason

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Saturday, August 13, 2022

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell did not play in Friday's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers because of a hamstring injury and could miss all three of the team's preseason games.

After Friday's 28-21 win against the Packers, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said Mitchell is dealing with a hamstring injury and won't play in next week's game against the Minnesota Vikings, either.

The same is true of cornerback Charvarius Ward, who is also dealing with a strained hamstring.

"Both of them had soft tissue injuries," Shanahan said. "They won't be available next week. We'll see the week after that."

Mitchell and Ward are expected to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Chicago Bears.

Through the first two weeks of camp, Mitchell had resumed the role he took on last season as San Francisco's starting running back. With Mitchell out, the 49ers will turn to a group that includes Trey Sermon, rookie Tyrion Davis-Price and JaMycal Hasty to handle the exhibition carries.

Sermon started Friday, finishing with six carries for 11 yards. Davis-Price got the most work, leading the team with 10 attempts for 36 yards. Hasty also had 36 yards on five carries.

Veteran back Jeff Wilson Jr.is also on the roster but did not play against Green Bay along with a large group of key Niners that included left tackle Trent Williams, end Nick Bosa, linebacker Fred Warner, receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle.

A 2021 sixth-round pick out of Louisiana, Mitchell set a franchise rookie rushing record last season with 963 yards, adding five touchdowns despite missing six games with a litany of injuries (ribs, knee, finger, shoulder and concussion).

After offseason knee surgery, Mitchell came back to camp a bit heavier with the hopes of handling the workload without issue.

Niners rookie defensive end Drake Jackson departed Friday's game with a shoulder injury. Afterward, Shanahan called it a stinger but added that Jackson was undergoing further testing.