Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Injury Report: Start 49ers RB If He’s Active? Plus Impact If He’s Ruled Out
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell (#45)
News broke with an updated status for 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (finger) after we wrote the following story and he is officially listed as doubtful, but our analyst’s breakdown of what to expect from him if he starts vs. what the impact would be if he’s ruled out is still relevant, so let’s dive right into it.
Click to expand the earlier-week injury report
Elijah Mitchell Injury Report
Mitchell suffered a fractured finger this past week that was serious enough to require surgical intervention. He underwent surgery on Tuesday and subsequently sat out of practice on Wednesday.
In spite of the short and improbable turnaround given the 49ers last played on Monday night, head coach Kyle Shanahan appears optimistic that Mitchell can play in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.
“He just had [the procedure] yesterday,” Shanahan said via ESPN on Wednesday. “Today, it’s not good enough to practice. I think he’ll go Sunday, but we’ve got to see it day to day.”
Mitchell was present at practice on Thursday, apparently off to the side with his finger bandaged and donning the blue, non-contact jersey, according to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.
The 2021 sixth-round pick has been extremely solid for fantasy (to the dismay of Trey Sermon supporters). He has missed two games in Weeks 3 and 4 with a rib injury. On Monday, he recorded a season-high 27 carries for 91 yards against the Rams. He is averaging 16.6 attempts per game and 4.8 yards per attempt and is RB21 on a per-game basis in half PPR.
Worry-o-meter: 3 out of 5.
Elijah Mitchell’s Fantasy Outlook
Mitchell leads the 49ers in every rushing category and his 270 snaps this season dwarf those of Sermon, who has 83, and JaMycal Hasty, who has 41. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk has 308 snaps, though he has been mostly a non-factor for fantasy.
The matchup is positive against the Jaguars, whose run defense has been below average this year. The 49ers are six-point favorites (find real-time NFL odds here) in this road matchup, which should provide a positive game script for the rushing attack. Mitchell is a solid RB2 if active.
This backfield gets messy if Mitchell does not play. During Weeks 3 and 4 when he was out with the rib injury, this backfield was split between Sermon and Juszczyk. Shanahan clearly does not trust Sermon, who was tepid in those games while given the lion’s share of the carries. He was relegated once again when Mitchell returned.
Jeff Wilson Jr. made his season debut in Week 10 and saw 10 carries for 28 yards. He feels like the logical next man up should Mitchell sit, though I assume Sermon will be sprinkled into the mix. Wilson would have RB3/flex appeal based on the workload and matchup if Mitchell is out.
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