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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers place Elijah Mitchell on IR for second time this season

Dec 3, 2022 at 1:43 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers placed Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve for the second time this season after the running back suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee last weekend against the New Orleans Saints.

On Friday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers placing Mitchell on injured reserve was not a certainty. That's because the team has two remaining opportunities to bring players back from injured reserve, having already used six. They will presumably use one more for defensive Javon Kinlaw, who Shanahan said may return soon.

"You're allowed eight, so that's the biggest thing," Shanahan explained. "I think we need to use them by [the start of the playoffs] because the playoffs aren't four weeks long. ... But that's the stuff that goes all into it. That's why we didn't decide to do it with [defensive tackle] Arik [Armstead], even though it was a long time ago. We just weren't sure how many we'd have at the end of the year.

"We feel pretty good, [with] six games left, where we're at. But we'll make a decision on Elijah, most likely, in the next 24 hours."

The decision has been made, and the second-year running back again finds himself on injured reserve.

Mitchell's earlier stint on the injured reserve list started on September 13 after suffering the same injury to his right knee in Week 1. The 49ers activated the running back off injured reserve on November 12, and Mitchell rushed for 183 yards, averaging 5.38 yards per carry in the three games since his return.

"He's pretty disappointed," Shanahan shared this past week, the day after the injury occurred. "Everyone knows how good Elijah's been, how hard he worked to get back from his last one, how good he's been playing since he came back, and to kind of be right back there, I know he was real down on it. It's unfortunate for him. He's just had some real bad luck."

The 49ers expect Mitchell to miss six to eight weeks, similar to the time he missed during his earlier injury. Shanahan hopes to get Mitchell back for the playoffs, assuming the team can make a deep run for the second consecutive season.

"Hopefully, we can do our job here so, when he comes back, we're still playing," Shanahan said.

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