Elijah Mitchell was in and out of the injury reports throughout 2021, with a combination of knee, shoulder, and rib injuries. Throw a concussion in there, and he ended up missing six games throughout his rookie season. Despite playing through injuries, he amassed 963 rushing yards from 207 attempts, logging five touchdowns in the 2021 campaign. He also caught 19 of his 20 targets for 137 yards and another score, bringing his combined TD total to six on the season in just 11 games.
Mitchell recently underwent knee surgery in the offseason, dubbed as a cleanup procedure to help speed up his recovery. He’s expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp with the 49ers at the end of July.
2022 Fantasy football outlook
With three years left on his rookie contract, Mitchell is expected to come back stronger and better next season as the knee procedure and adding some extra weight will help him build off the success he saw in 2021 before the knee injury really had an effect on his game.
If he comes back fully healthy — and can stay that way — he should be playing as a solid RB2 with the 49ers, and could find himself in an RB1 spot eventually if he performs as well as expected next season especially with San Francisco’s run-first offensive approach.