Elijah Mitchell

San Francisco 49ers
Running Back
San Francisco 49ers
Running Back

Elijah Mitchell News

Returns with two scores

Mitchell (knee) suited up and logged five carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 38-13 win over Arizona.

Analysis: Mitchell was activated from injured reserve for the second time this season, producing big fantasy numbers on just five touches while backing up Christian McCaffrey (13 touches). Both running backs have dealt with lower body injuries this year, which helps explains the low usage one week ahead of the playoffs. The 24-year-old finishes the regular season with a rushing line of 45-279-2 across five active games. Assuming Mitchell remains in good health, he should inch closer to double-digit carries when San Francisco hosts its upcoming wild-card game next week.

Jan 8, 2023 7:03 PM EST

Ready to play Week 18

Mitchell (knee) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Analysis: It'll be interesting to see how the 49ers use Mitchell, especially considering the team has a chance to claim the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Expect Mitchell to get a healthy dose of touches, particularly in the second half, as the 49ers continue to limit the usage of their dynamic starter, Christian McCaffrey, who didn't practice both Wednesday and Thursday for precautionary reasons.

Jan 7, 2023 1:57 PM EST

Likely to return Sunday

Coach Kyle Shanahan told Adam Copeland of KNBR on Thursday that he expects Mitchell (knee) to be available for Sunday's game versus the Cardinals.

Analysis: While Mitchell returned to practice Wednesday, the 49ers didn't officially designate him for return from injured reserve until Thursday, per the NFL's transaction log. The move opened up a 21-day window for the 49ers to active Mitchell from IR, but he seemingly won't need that much time for the team to do so. As for the rest of the backfield, Christian McCaffrey (ankle/knee) hasn't practiced this week, but he revealed to David Lombardi of The Athletic on Thursday that his DNPs were a precaution, and he should be active this weekend. If both McCaffrey and Mitchell are able to suit up, it'll mark their fourth contest working together. In the first three, Mitchell recorded 41 touches to McCaffrey's 47, so there is room for both to produce.

Jan 5, 2023 5:08 PM EST

Designated for return from IR

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Mitchell (knee) will practice Wednesday, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Thus, Mitchell's 21-day window to return from injured reserve will open. The second-year running back is five weeks into his recovery from a sprained MCL in his left knee, which was expected to take 6-to-8 weeks to recover from. It's unknown if Mitchell has a chance to play in Sunday's regular-season finale versus the Cardinals, but with Christian McCaffrey dealing with a mild ankle sprain, Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price are the only healthy RBs on San Francisco's active roster.

Jan 4, 2023 12:41 PM EST

Return to practice likely this week

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Mitchell (knee) is slated to practice this week, which would open a 21-day window for the 49ers to activate him from injured reserve, Josh Dubow of The Associated Press reports.

Analysis: Mitchell is dealing with his second MCL sprain of the season, which has sidelined him since Week 12. He suffered the injury Nov. 27 and was given an accompanying recovery timeline of 6-to-8 weeks. So far, five weeks have passed, so the 49ers will start to ramp up Mitchell's on-field work in the coming days. It's unclear if he has a chance to be active Sunday against the Cardinals, but he'll at least take the first step toward a return to San Francisco's active roster.

Jan 2, 2023 3:53 PM EST

Practice window not open yet

Coach Kyle Shanahan relayed Mitchell (knee) didn't practice Friday due to an illness, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Shanahan hinted Monday that a return to practice for Mitchell was possible before week's end, which would have opened his 21-day window to return from injured reserve. Instead, Mitchell has caught the bug that's impacted a few 49ers this week, thus delaying his first on-field work since spraining his MCL on Nov. 27. Assuming he's designated for return from IR next week, he'll have a chance to play Week 18 against the Cardinals, but more realistically the team is aiming to have him available for the postseason as a backfield option behind Christian McCaffrey.

Dec 30, 2022 2:10 PM EST

Progressing in recovery

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Mitchell (knee) has made "real good progress," and the running back's 21-day window to return from injured reserve may open as early as Friday, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: After picking up a sprained MCL in his left knee on Nov. 27, Mitchell was given a recovery timeline of 6-to-8 weeks. As of Monday, he's entered the fifth week of his rehab from the injury, but there have been signals from Shanahan that Mitchell is in a good spot in that regard, per David Lombardi of The Athletic. Even if the 49ers designate Mitchell for return Friday, he's unlikely to be activated from IR ahead of Sunday's game in Las Vegas. More realistically, the team is aiming for him to get back on the active roster for a Week 18 matchup with the Cardinals.

Dec 26, 2022 4:02 PM EST

On track in recovery

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Mitchell (knee) is on track with his recovery from an MCL sprain, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic.

Analysis: Lombardi also added that Mitchell is expected to occupy the 49ers' final IR spot (with a designation to return) following Javon Kinlaw's (knee) recent activation from injured reserve. The 24-year-old's initial timetable was expected to be 6-8 weeks, so he is still likely to miss the rest of the regular season, but a return for the start of San Francisco's playoff run seems possible. Mitchell was performing well in a complementary role behind Christian McCaffrey before getting hurt, so expect him to reclaim that role when he is healthy enough to return.

Dec 23, 2022 7:35 PM EST

Shifts over to IR

Mitchell (knee) was placed on injured reserve Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: It's important to note that Mitchell could, and likely will, return during the 49ers' posteason run, but this designation confirms the second-year back will be done for the rest of the regular season. The 49ers did not choose to call up Tevin Coleman from the practice squad meaning Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price will be left to backup star running back Christian McCaffrey.

Dec 3, 2022 2:17 PM EST

Expected to miss 6-8 weeks

Coach Kyle Shanahan noted Monday that Mitchell (knee) is in line to be out 6-to-8 weeks, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, the 49ers plan to place Mitchell on IR, which would ensure that he misses at least four games, but based on the estimated timetable put forth by Shanahan, the running back doesn't seem likely to be back before the postseason. In Mitchell's looming absence, Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price are now in line to log change-of-pace/complementary snaps for the 49ers behind top back Christian McCaffrey, while Tevin Coleman is a candidate to be elevated from the team's practice squad.

Nov 28, 2022 3:33 PM EST

Likely sprained other MCL

Mitchell (knee) likely sprained his MCL in Sunday's win over the Saints, but the injury isn't to the same knee as his Week 1 MCL sprain, per coach Kyle Shanahan, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Mitchell sat out Weeks 2-8 due to the first MCL sprain, which suggests he could be facing another multi-week absence, though the 49ers will do more testing before releasing a return timetable. Christian McCaffrey will lead the 49ers' backfield in Mitchell's absence, with Jordan Mason and possibly fellow rookie Tyrion Davis-Price on hand as well.

Nov 27, 2022 5:08 PM EST

Dealing with knee issue

Mitchell was forced out of Sunday's game against the Saints due to a knee injury.

Analysis: Mitchell dealt with knee irritation during the stretch run of last season and also sat out Weeks 2-8 of this year due to an MCL sprain in his right knee. The current concern may keep him sidelined for the rest of Week 12, which would cap him at seven carries for 35 yards and two catches (on two targets) for eight yards. Jordan Mason will move up to No. 2 on the RB depth chart for the 49ers behind Christian McCaffrey for as long as Mitchell is sidelined.

Nov 27, 2022 3:22 PM EST

Leads 49ers in rushing

Mitchell rushed the ball nine times for 59 yards in Monday's 38-10 win over Arizona.

Analysis: Mitchell led the team in both rush attempts and yards while averaging an efficient 6.6 yards per attempt. All of those marks are deceiving however, as Mitchell had only one carry at halftime and saw the majority of his work when the game was a blowout and the outcome hardly in question. He remains the handcuff to Christian McCaffrey, but Mitchell's volume on a weekly basis will be hard to rely upon.

Nov 21, 2022 10:06 PM EST

Game-high 89 yards in return

Mitchell (knee) rushed 18 times for 89 yards and lost one yard on his lone reception (two targets) in Sunday's 22-16 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Mitchell returned to action after going down with a knee injury on the first game of the regular season. The 24-year-old looked to be in midseason form despite the lengthy layoff, as he paced the team in carries (18) and rushing yards (89) fresh off of injured reserve. Christian McCaffrey (18 touches for 77 yards and a score) still did his thing as the running backs nearly split touches. CMC figures to be the featured back -- in addition to handling most receiving work -- but the 49ers' former starter could carve out value if he continues to see double-digit touches. Make sure Mitchell is rostered ahead of next Monday's tilt against the Cardinals.

Nov 13, 2022 10:00 PM EST

Activated, ready to play

Mitchell (knee) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed this move would take place locking in the talented second-year back as the backup to Christian McCaffrey. It'll be interesting to see how the 49ers use Mitchell alongside their new Panthers import as it's possible the duo could both see a plethora of carries with McCaffrey taking every opportunity on passing downs.

Nov 12, 2022 1:52 PM EST

Returning for SNF

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Mitchell (knee) will be activated from injured reserve before Sunday's game against the Chargers, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Analysis: The 49ers may wait until Saturday to make their transactions official, bringing Mitchell and three others off IR. There was a time not so long ago when his return would've been a leading fantasy headline for the week, but Mitchell likely is looking at a small-ish role now that the 49ers have Christian McCaffrey. If nothing else, Mitchell is worth keeping on fantasy benches for what he might do in the event of a McCaffrey absence later this season.

Nov 11, 2022 1:59 PM EST

Designated to return from IR

The 49ers designated Mitchell (knee) to return from IR on Monday, Josh Dubow of The Associated Press reports.

Analysis: Mitchell sprained his MCL during the season opener and has been on IR since. Jeff Wilson replaced him at first, but the 49ers have since traded Wilson to the Dolphins after acquiring Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers. With the move, Mitchell will return to practices ahead of Week 10, and San Francisco opened a 21-day window for the running back to be added to the active roster. However, it doesn't sound like Mitchell will remain sidelined for much longer, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports reported last week that Mitchell has been eyeing a return to action against the Chargers in Week 10. Regardless, when Mitchell eventually returns, it's possible he'll be limited at first, and even when he's back to full speed, he'll operate as the No. 2 back behind McCaffrey.

Nov 7, 2022 11:35 AM EST

Aiming to play in Week 10

Mitchell (knee) is seeking to return to action Sunday, Nov. 13 against the Chargers, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Mitchell has been sidelined since spraining the MCL in his right knee in the season opener. Since then, the 49ers rode Jeff Wilson in the backfield until the recent acquisition of Christian McCaffrey. After two games with McCaffrey on the roster and Mitchell getting healthier by the week, the team opted to deal Wilson to the Dolphins on Tuesday, paving the way for Mitchell to be the No. 2 running back, when healthy. Mitchell will have the benefit of a Week 9 bye to do so, but San Francisco also needs to make the procedural move of designating him for return from IR in order to reintegrate him into practice. How he fares on the field next week will determine whether or not he joins McCaffrey as an RB option for coach Kyle Shanahan in Week 10.

Nov 1, 2022 2:29 PM EST

Could return after Week 9 bye

Mitchell (knee) could be a candidate to return from injured reserve after the 49ers' Week 9 bye, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Mitchell is eligible to come off IR at any point, but a potential target date may be difficult to pinpoint until the 49ers clear him to resume practicing. The running back looks as though he may be close to doing that, as Barrows notes that Mitchell spotted running and working out off to the side during Friday's practice. Even if Mitchell makes it back for San Francisco's first post-bye game Week 10 versus the Chargers on Nov. 13, he'll likely be headed for a complementary role out of the backfield after serving as the 49ers' lead back prior to suffering an MCL sprain of his right knee back in Week 1. The 49ers acquired 2019 first-team All-Pro Christian McCaffrey last week, and he'll likely end up seeing the overwhelming majority of the backfield snaps and touches while he's healthy.

Oct 28, 2022 12:50 PM EST

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