Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Kyle Shanahan looking to ramp up practice workload for healthier Elijah Mitchell

Aug 1, 2022 at 10:43 AM--


Elijah Mitchell's 963 rushing yards last season set a San Francisco 49ers franchise record for the most by a rookie. But, how he accomplished the feat is even more impressive. Mitchell was never completely healthy for most of the season, dealing with shoulder, rib, finger, and knee injuries.

In April, Mitchell underwent a clean-up procedure on his knee. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't about to throw a full workload on the second-year running back. He knows how important Mitchell is to the success of the upcoming season.

"Elijah's just getting back healthy," Shanahan told reporters before Monday's practice. "We didn't get him in OTAs. He did a lot of good things last year, but he was also banged up throughout the year. So Elijah is just trying to get back to [100 percent] health. Once he is healthy, now he's got to get into the routine of how to practice each day, how to do what he needs to do to play running back for the longevity of a year.

"Last year, he wasn't able to do that. Not to his fault. He broke a number of ribs. He had some serious injuries. He was tough as can be. He was able to go on Sunday a lot, but we need Elijah to get back into practicing and being consistent with that because what he did his first year was great, but if you miss that much, it's just not built to last."

Mitchell spoke with reporters over the weekend, providing an update on how he felt during the early portion of training camp.

"I've been good," Mitchell said. "I'm excited about camp. I'll just continue to keep working hard and get through the season."

As for the padded practices, the running back is anxious to start testing how much punishment he can endure.

"I'm excited about it," Mitchell shared. "Being a running back, you've got to have that mentality. So we're very excited to put on the pads Monday."

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