The past few years in San Francisco have seen a procession of running back injuries. One such player who has been at the center of that issue the past two years is third-year back Elijah Mitchell. Unfortunately, Mitchell isn’t in quite in the clear going into Year 3 for the 49ers. According to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mitchell has suffered an abductor strain that will hold him out for a bit.
Injuries have been a bit of an issue for Mitchell to start his career. While playing as an injury replacement in his rookie year for Raheem Mostert, Mitchell was forced to miss six games due to injury himself. Things went further downhill in his sophomore season as he suffered a sprained MCL in the first game of the season. He was able to return in mid-November, but by the time he was back, Christian McCaffrey had arrived and staked his claim atop the depth chart. Mitchell would only play in five games last year.
Now, for the first time in his career, Mitchell will not be expected to carry the weight at running back. With McCaffrey firmly leading the group, Mitchell should be able to take his time coming back from the strain. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media that Mitchell should be back “in a week.” While that’s an encouraging timeline to hear, Mitchell’s injury history warrants a bit of cautious optimism from fans.
Here are a few other injury updates from around the league:
- We saw Saints linebacker Andrew Dowell land on injured reserve earlier this week. Thanks to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, we now know that he was placed on the injured list after suffering a torn ACL. After only missing one game in the past two seasons, Dowell is now likely to miss the entire 2023 season.
- Another player who unfortunately went down with a torn ACL this week is Vikings defensive lineman James Lynch, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Lynch was a tied for the fourth-most snaps on the defensive line for Minnesota last year, a defensive line that is also playing without Dalvin Tomlinson this year. Lynch has missed games in each year of his young career, but 2023 will see him miss the entire season.
- After only two years in the league, Seahawks edge rusher Darrell Taylor has already established himself as a main contributor on the Seattle defense with 16.0 sacks over his first two seasons. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Taylor showed up to practice on Thursday with his left arm in a sling. Head coach Pete Carroll informed the media that he was dealing with a sprained shoulder. A recovery timeline was not provided.
- The Seahawks held a scrimmage tonight and saw two rookies sustain injuries in the simulated game. The team’s injury woes in the running backs room continue as rookie seventh-round pick Kenny McIntosh suffered what Carroll is calling a sprained knee, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Luckily, they will be getting another rookie rusher back, as Carroll told the media that second-round rookie Zach Charbonnet will return “full-go” following the team’s off day tomorrow. The other rookie to go down with an injury was undrafted cornerback Andrew Whitaker. The diagnosis is unclear, but Whitaker was carted off the field after sustaining an injury in the contest, according to Condotta.
- Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton missed the entire 2022 season after suffering an avulsion fracture in his right kneecap. The veteran made his return to the field in last night’s Hall of Fame game but left after only playing seven snaps. He reported today that, while he didn’t feel like there was any setback with his surgically repaired knee, he decided to be overly cautious with playing on turf, according to Andy Vasquez of NJ.com. In recent years, many non-contact injuries have been attributed to turf fields around the league. With this in mind, Becton got a good sense of where his knee was at and decided to work the rest out in practice. The team plans to test him more as camp progresses and the season draws nearer.