Throughout his rookie season in 2021, operating again Elijah Mitchell was continuously relied upon by the 49ers. Nonetheless, with the addition of Christian McCaffrey to the group, Mitchell is discovering it troublesome to even get on the sector. Within the latest 30-23 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Mitchell was one in every of 4 energetic and wholesome gamers who didn’t see any motion. In distinction, McCaffrey performed each offensive snap for the 49ers. Coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that the group made a mistake by not rotating the operating backs and expressed the necessity to give Mitchell extra enjoying time.
McCaffrey at the moment leads the NFL in speeding makes an attempt and yards by two weeks, emphasizing his significance to the group. Within the Week 1 win towards the Pittsburgh Steelers, McCaffrey rushed for 152 yards whereas Mitchell solely performed 10 snaps. Shanahan defined that the duty for substitutions normally falls on the place coaches, together with his focus totally on play-calling. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that he ought to have seen Mitchell’s lack of enjoying time and advocated for his inclusion.
Regardless of battling accidents throughout his rookie season, Mitchell emerged as a major contributor when he was on the sector. In his ultimate 5 common season video games, he had a number of video games with over 20 speeding makes an attempt and carried the ball 27 occasions within the 49ers’ playoff-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys. Nonetheless, Mitchell’s enjoying time decreased considerably after McCaffrey joined the group mid-season.
Whereas McCaffrey is undoubtedly a prime operating again within the league, Mitchell nonetheless deserves a job within the 49ers’ offense. Shanahan acknowledged the necessity to rectify the dearth of rotation and make sure that Mitchell receives extra enjoying time sooner or later.