SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Just two weeks after recovering from the medial collateral ligament injury on his left knee San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell suffered a similar injury to his left knee.
Mitchell was unable to play in Sunday’s 13-0 win against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter suffering from what the Niners consider to be a strain on the MCL that was strained in his left knee. Mitchell is scheduled to undergo further testing on Monday. Mitchell was originally deemed unfit to play, but the Niners eliminated him at the close of the quarter.
It was the first (right) knee strain occurred during a week 1 defeat against the Chicago Bears and kept Mitchell out until his Week 10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. In contrast to last time Mitchell is expected to return in Week 10. Niners and Mitchell are hopeful that even though the player could be out for some time however, it will not last for as long.
Starting Christian McCaffrey and third-string running back Jordan Mason filled in for Mitchell throughout the time, even though McCaffrey was suffering from the issue the coach Kyle Shanahan called “knee irritation.”
“We’ll check to see how Elijah performs,” coach Kyle Shanahan stated. “Most probably Elijah will be absent a small amount and this could give chances to those players who are not.”
Mitchell was injured on an initial down carry with no gain at 13 minutes and 53 seconds to go during the 3rd quarter. He later said that he was twisted during the play, but didn’t think the injury was as severe as the one he had in Chicago.
At the time of his departure Mitchell had seven carries of 35 yards and two grabs with 8 yards. McCaffrey had 11 carries totalling 32 yards and four catch at 17 yards. Mason played a key role in closing the win by attempting five times to gain 25 yards.
Shanahan explained that McCaffrey’s knee injury was a result of the game. He added, “Hopefully, Christian will be fine, too.”
If, as is expected, Mitchell misses a bit of time, Shanahan expressed confidence in Mason and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price who was an early game inactive, to pick up the gap. The Niners confidence in the pair was evident in the trade deadline deal that sent Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Miami Dolphins, who just happen to be the next on the Niners scheduled schedule.
“I believe JP (Mason) was in there and did a very excellent job towards the end of the race,” Shanahan said. “They got every single person there fighting to end the race and I’m sure you saw how tough-nosed the guy is, and how well he ran it . He was successful in keeping us on the field, and not surrender it … After that, Ty has been on our minds for a while, and we’ve always wanted to see Ty going.”
Within two minutes of Mitchell’s injury the 49ers managed to avoid another setback to their backfield Saints defense player Malcolm Roach hit quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the lower left leg when Garoppolo made a throw to the receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Garoppolo was clearly in pain and was irritated with Roach and he quickly rushed to the sideline after being penalized for a roughness that was not needed.
“It’s football however, you have to be aware as players and look at one another’s back,” Garoppolo said. “There’s no need for such things. I’m okay I’m a little sore but nothing to worry about.”
Shanahan stated that Garoppolo appeared to have come out of the game fine, however he’d be subject to a more thorough examination on Monday morning to confirm that there were no significant injuries to his quarterback.
“He was hit the other day,” Shanahan said. “I don’t have any specifics concerning the subject. However, I do know that he’s more stressed than normal. We’ll look the situation and see how he’s doing on the day of tomorrow. He put on a great performance.”
Even though new backup Brock Purdy warmed up briefly, Garoppolo stayed in the game and threw 26-of-37 with 221 yards, and an interception.
In other news on the side of injuries, right-guard Spencer Burford suffered a sprained right ankle that put him in a boot for walking following the game. Shanahan stated that it wasn’t an ankle sprain that was high and suggested that Burford might return sooner rather than later. Daniel Brunskill replaced Burford.