Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Raheem Mostert can’t wait for Jerick McKinnon to surprise doubters this season

May 20, 2020 at 6:07 PM--

Jerick McKinnon was among a contingent of San Francisco 49ers players recently working out with Washington running back Adrian Peterson in Houston. He's been on the roster since the 49ers signed him in 2018 but has yet to take a regular-season snap with the team. Just a week before his 2018 debut, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

That same injury eventually forced another procedure last year, sidelining the running back again.

McKinnon hopes this year will be different. He is working on getting back on the football field and proving he can be the dual-threat running back that head coach Kyle Shanahan envisioned upon signing him.

The 49ers' rushing leader from last season, Raheem Mostert, spoke with reporters on Wednesday and was asked about McKinnon's offseason progress.

"I'm definitely excited," Mostert responded. "I have been keeping up with him even last year, just helping him out throughout the season. Just giving him pointers here and there. He's always one to learn, and that's what I appreciate about him, especially coming into this offense. He's definitely more so the pass-catcher, but he's always trying to elevate his game, and he's going a great job right now with these workouts that he's doing."

It became clear that to remain with the 49ers, McKinnon would need to restructure his once-hefty contract. He was set to count $8.55 million against the salary cap in 2020, according to Spotrac, before the two sides restructured in March.

Now, the new deal essentially runs through the upcoming season, reduces his base salary and salary-cap hit, and spreads the remainder of the initial contract's signing bonus over the next two years.

McKinnon became a student of Shanahan's offense these last couple of years, studying to perfect his knowledge of the system so he can make an immediate impact when he does finally step back onto the football field.

"We always talk about it, and he's helping me, too, understanding more of the playbook," Mostert continued. "He's had more time understanding it than I have, route-running-wise. I'm trying to pick his brain, and he's trying to pick my brain with the run scheme.

"We're doing a great job right now, and I can't wait for him to show what everyone's been doubting him on and missing out. I'm excited, man. It's going to be a surprise for everyone."

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