Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan says Elijah Mitchell headed to IR, provides George Kittle update

Sep 12, 2022 at 3:48 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers entered Sunday's Week 1 matchup without one of their best offensive weapons, tight end George Kittle. They lost another offensive weapon in the 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.

On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters via a conference call and confirmed the report that Elijah Mitchell sustained an MCL sprain. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the running back is expected to miss about two months.

Shanahan confirmed that timeline, saying Mitchell would head to injured reserve, forcing him to miss at least four games. Jeff Wilson Jr. replaced Mitchell against the Bears and will likely be the featured back until Mitchell's return.

"Elijah Mitchell, MCL sprain," Shanahan said. "Not going to need surgery, but it's going to be some time. He'll end up going on IR here. ... We're estimating about two months, eight weeks, give or take a few. So hopefully, it goes well, and it's earlier, but you never know with those things. That's what we're guessing.

How was Mitchell feeling on Monday after this newest injury and considering last season when he dealt with shoulder, rib, finger, and knee injuries?

"He was pretty down," Shanahan said. "And for obvious reasons, we're down for him. Elijah went through a lot last year. It's well-documented the injuries he had. He really worked hard this offseason, and he was feeling really good going into that game. Man, I thought he looked really good before he got hurt.

"Just an unfortunate hit that he had. I'm trying to tell him to keep his head up. Anybody who would have got caught in that situation would have gotten hurt with the way his foot planted in the ground, and the guy hit his knee. I think we're just real fortunate it wasn't worse."

Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw suffered an ankle sprain in the first quarter, but the coach wasn't too concerned about any long-term issues. Kinlaw returned to the game.

"We're not expecting that to bother him," Shanahan said. "He should be all right."

That was it from the game, but Shanahan also provided an update on Kittle, who suffered a groin injury a week ago. The tight end will be working to get back to practice this week, and the coach hopes to have him available against the Seattle Seahawks.

"He thought he was [close to playing on Sunday]," Shanahan said. "That's why he made the trip and stuff, but we decided pretty early there, Saturday night, just talking to doctors and stuff. I haven't really found out about him today. ... I hope he's ready to go Wednesday, but not sure yet. I know he'll be working to get back this week."

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