Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Seahawks: Kyle Shanahan says competition will reveal Jeff Wilson’s backup

Sep 14, 2022 at 3:50 PM--


San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. replaced Elijah Mitchell on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Wilson finished the game with only 22 rushing yards on nine carries. That averages out to just over 2.4 yards per attempt.

It sounds like Wilson will start on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks as the Niners look to rebound from their unexpected Week 1 loss. The backup role is up for grabs, though. The team has rookies Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason available. San Francisco also signed Marlon Mack to the practice squad.

On Wednesday, a reporter asked the coach if there would be a competition this week for the right to serve as the team's RB2.

"Yeah, for the most part," Shanahan responded. "That's what it was last week. We knew it was just gonna be special teams [for the backup]. This week, we'll get a feel for them on these three days, and then we'll go with the hot hand in the game."

Shanahan does like Wilson as the starter, though. He is the veteran of the group, not counting Mack, who just arrived.

"Anything we ask him to do, he does, whether it's our third-down back, whether it's playing the fullback role, when our wideouts have the ball, in the pass game, in the run game, he's been a starter for us," Shanahan said of Wilson. "Jeff, he's a very reliable guy. When Jeff's healthy and able to stay fresh, he can play at a high level, and he's one of the guys we trust as much as anyone around here."

They may be rookies, but Davis-Price and Mason remained on the 49ers roster for a reason. Shanahan will assess both players on everything they bring to the table. That includes their ability to line up in the right spot, contributions on special teams, protection, and more. But Shanahan does like each's ability to contribute in the run game.

"I like their style of running, both of them," Shanahan said. "I think they're very similar. They don't mess around. They get downhill. Two types of styles that we need and that we like. But there's a lot more to playing football with us than just running with the ball."

As for Marlon Mack, the 49ers coach discussed that addition.

"I liked him coming out of college a lot," Shanahan said. "I think we all did in here. And then I think he did good early on in Indy, and had some tough injuries, but those are things our guys stay on top of throughout. We all have rankings of guys in college, and then we see how they perform in the NFL."

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