Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Elijah Mitchell appreciates praise from Trent Williams, has winning mindset heading into 49ers-Rams

Nov 13, 2021 at 3:30 PM--

Earlier this season, left tackle Trent Williams praised rookie Elijah Mitchell, comparing the San Francisco 49ers running back to a future Hall of Famer.

"There was a play [against the Bears in Week 8], it was probably the third run of the game in the first quarter, inside zone to the right," offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel shared earlier this month. "And it wasn't blocked premierly, so he had to just get downhill, and he ran into Trent's back. And Trent was like, 'I haven't been hit that hard by a running back since Adrian Peterson."

Williams spoke with reporters after today's practice and shared some details about the hit from his rookie teammate.

"I mean, I've gotten ran over -- well, hit really hard, really ran over by a running back once," Williams said, "and that was Adrian Peterson, of course, my freshman year in college. So that was the last time, and I got de-cleated by standing in the hole."

Mitchell appreciates the praise. However, he admits that the impact with Williams took him by surprise too.

"I remember it, though, because it kind of stumped me a little bit too," Mitchell said. "Just by him saying that, I appreciate him saying that."

Williams believes the 49ers have something special in Mitchell, who leads the team with 469 rushing yards.

"Elijah didn't de-cleat me, but he definitely put one in my back and made me turn around like, 'Who the hell is that?' I was like, 'Damn, that's what they feel when they gotta tackle him? I can see why he breaks so many tackles.'

"He's compact. He has great vision. His pad level is always where it needs to be. Obviously, you see his balance. He's always showing it off by how many tackles he breaks. Great shiftiness and he can run. He has it all, really. Literally has the full toolbox. The more touches we give him, I think the more effective he'll be."

The next test for the rookie running back will be on Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams defense. It will be Mitchell's first appearance on Monday night football, and he is excited. The 49ers own a 3-5 record this season, having lost five of their last six games. A win against their division rival might spark a turnaround. A loss would be a disaster for the team's already deminishing playoff hopes.

"Going into Monday night football, really, it's the same mindset we have going into every game -- to win, really," Mitchell said. "We've just got to go in there with the mindset to win, and we're going to be alright."

The running back has been dealing with a rib injury and even played through it last weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. Mitchell was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday as the team took a cautious approach with its leading rusher, but he was a full participant today.

"Like I say, you've just got to suck it up," Mitchell said of his injury. "Really, there's nothing you can really do about it. But I was really OK with just going out there and playing ball. I wasn't really thinking about it."

Mitchell added, "I'm feeling way better this week, so I'm excited about Monday."

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