Game day update: The rookie running back is expected to play on Sunday against the Houston Texans, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The San Francisco 49ers host the Houston Texans in Week 17 and could welcome back a key offensive weapon. Running back Elijah Mitchell has missed three weeks with a knee injury, but made progress toward returning in Week 17. He was able to get in three straight days of limited practice after logging all DNPs in recent weeks.
The team listed him as questionable on the final injury report, and head coach Kyle Shanahan offered some optimism around his potential availability (via 49ers Webzone).
“Yesterday, I thought, was his best day that he’s had, for a Thursday. That’s the only day we’re going full speed, and he was able to get more reps than he has since this has happened to him. So, I think that’s very encouraging, especially when he does that. Today, he didn’t feel worse, which was the key. He was able to get some today. Hopefully, that will continue all the way up to Sunday.”
Fantasy football impact: Elijah Mitchell (knee)
Shanahan said they would give Mitchell “as much [work] as he can handle,” which would be “about watching him, watching how his legs work, communicating with him, which is really what [running backs coach] Bobby [Turner] does throughout the game. When he’s tired, when he’s going, Bobby doesn’t hesitate. He puts Jeff [Wilson] in there. We have a number of guys we can put in there.”
Mitchell seems on track to play against the Texans, but this language suggests we could end up seeing a bit of a platoon. Mitchell could end up being fine and get most of the work, or Wilson could end up with a decent chunk of work. If Mitchell plays, it’s safe to say Wilson will be involved in the game.
49ers-Texans kicks off at 4:05 p.m. ET, so keep an eye out for Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter reports on Sunday morning. If Mitchell is trending toward playing, he’s a solid RB2 option.