The San Francisco 49ers went into a bit of a scramble mode on Sunday in their opener in Detroit when they lost leading running back Raheem Mostert, who went down with a knee injury.
The team had already made a surprising move by putting this year’s third-round pick, running back Trey Sermon on the inactive list for the game, but it turns out, they had more in reserve than they were even aware of.
The team went with another rookie as the backup to Mostert, sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell, who scampered 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown in the 41-33 victory.
“I thought he did a real good job,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said, via 49ersWebZone.com.
“That’s kind of what we expected him to do. But it’s always tough in your first game and stuff. He went in there and didn’t hesitate and ran the ball well.”
While Shanahan was busy giving kudos to his rookie running back, he wouldn’t commit to making Mitchell the starter moving forward. But we have to assume that if he keeps running like he did Sunday, he’ll get more chances in the Niners’ backfield.
For now, depth was a key in the Niners’ 8-point win Sunday, and it will be interesting to see where the Niners go from here at the running back post.