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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers coach Kyle Shanahan says Trey Sermon is improving but ‘there is a pecking order’

Nov 22, 2021 at 4:06 PM--


Trey Sermon was a third-round pick in April's draft. However, the San Francisco 49ers' sixth-round pick, Elijah Mitchell, is the team's starting running back and leading rusher.

Sermon had 10 carries during Sunday's 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Before that, his last carry came in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Sermon moved up the depth chart because Mitchell was inactive due to rib and finger injuries.

Kyle Shanahan insists that Sermon is showing improvement. On Monday, one day after the team's Week 11 win, the 49ers coach spoke with reporters and discussed the developing rookie running back.

"I think he's better now than when he was given the last opportunity," Shanahan said of Sermon. "I know I get these questions about Trey a lot. He's been doing it each week. He's been earning stuff and improving each week, but there is a pecking order with backs. You can only give so many guys the ball.

"Elijah has kind of solidified himself as our starter this year. Jeff Wilson has done it since he's been here. And [JaMycal Hasty] being on the bench, and then Elijah getting hurt this week, opened up an opportunity for him to get some reps again. And I thought he came in and showed what he's been showing in practice. He's been getting better, and I thought he did a good job helping us win on Sunday."

Sermon has recorded 167 rushing yards and a touchdown on 41 carries through eight game appearances and two starts this season.

As for Mitchell, his status is considered day-to-day. The coach won't commit to his availability this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm not going to guess [on] this week," Shanahan said. "I know he couldn't go today, so we'll see how he is on Wednesday and just take it day by day."

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