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Shanahan confirms multiple running back workouts, provides injury updates

© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the 49ers had too many running backs? Back in training camp, all of, oh, three weeks ago, there was a decision for the 49ers between keeping JaMycal Hasty and Wayne Gallman. After drafting two rookies, San Francisco had a glut at the position, an embarrassment of riches.

Gallman went on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons, and the 49ers headed into the season with Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell, Hasty and Trey Sermon.

Three snaps in, Mostert was out for the year. On Sunday, Eljiah Mitchell, who took over, essentially as the closest thing to a bell cow running back you’ll see in a Kyle Shanahan system, suffered a shoulder injury. Shanahan said it was believed to be a stinger, and Mitchell eventually returned.

While Mitchell was out, the 49ers leaned on Hasty, who then suffered an ankle injury. Then it was time for Sermon, in his career debut. Sermon was crunched, brutally, getting elbowed in the head, hit in the head, and then falling on his head. He was evaluated for a head injury and is in the league’s concussion protocol.

That left Trenton Cannon, who the 49ers picked up off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens, who, ironically, have had a brutal running back situation of their own. Cannon was meant to just be the team’s kickoff returner, but had no choice but to take snaps at running back before Mitchell returned and the game ended.

According to Kyle Shanahan, here’s the team’s injury situation coming off of Sunday’s 17-11 win. *deep breath*

  • Kevin Givens and Hasty both suffered high ankle sprains and will both be “out a while.” What is a while? Long enough to be candidates for going on injured reserve, which players must remain on for at least three weeks, but are eligible to return from afterwards.
  • Mitchell is dealing with the same shoulder injury and is day to day
  • Sermon is in the concussion protocol, but Shanahan said he wasn’t aware that he had been diagnosed with a concussion
  • Arik Armstead is dealing with the same abductor injury he had last week
  • Javon Kinlaw still has his knee issue which doesn’t seem likely to go away any time soon and the 49ers will “manage him this week.” Shanahan said the early signs were positive but that¬†“Kinlaw’s not out of the woods at all.”
  • Josh Norman suffered an ankle injury and is day-to-day
  • Shanahan hopes Emmanuel Moseley will return and make his debut this week.

With injuries to every single running back on the roster except for the recently-acquired Trenton Cannon, the 49ers have some moves coming. Shanahan said it’s possible that recent practice squad addition Kerryon Johnson could be promoted this week, but also confirmed that the team worked out three running backs in veterans Lamar Miller, Duke Johnson, and former Jaguars second-round pick T.J. Yeldon.

If even one of those players is signed and takes snaps this week, they’d become effectively the seventh 49ers running backs of the season, if you count Gallman. Keep in mind that Jeff Wilson Jr. is tentatively expected back some time in November.


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