Elijah Mitchell 'stepped up' for 49ers in backfield quagmire
San Francisco 49ers sixth-round rookie running back Elijah Mitchell "stepped up" in Sunday's victory over the Detroit Lions after Raheem Mostert left with a knee injury.
Mostert exited in the first quarter and it was Mitchell who went on to rush 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco's 41-33 victory. "Elijah stepped up when his number was called and got on a roll,". 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "Obviously, nothing is ever perfect, but for a rookie to come in and play that well, it was impressive.” Garoppolo did say that Mitchell's pass blocking was "up and down," but that tends to be the norm for rookie backs. The sixth-round pick was surprisingly active over third-rounder Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty only ran the ball once. However, despite the strong debut, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted after Sunday's game that there was no firm pecking order in the backfield. Mostert is looking at an eight-week absence, so Mitchell may have earned a meaningful role moving forward, even if Sermon is active for Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mitchell scored 16.4 FanDuel points in Week 1 and he played 63.6% of the offensive snaps. Through 14 games this season, the Eagles defense ranks 20th in Rushing Net Expected Points allowed per attempt.
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