The 49ers kept five running backs on their initial 53-player roster Tuesday. They reduced it to four Wednesday.
The 49ers traded two selections to move up and select Sermon last year, but he took a backseat to Mitchell, a sixth-round choice who had 1,100 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns. Sermon appeared in only nine games as a rookie with two starts, totaling 167 rushing yards and a touchdown on 41 carries.
General Manager John Lynch said last week that “Sermon has been one of our best players” during training camp.
It seems likely that someone claims Sermon off waivers.
The 49ers also announced they signed tight end Tyler Kroft and defensive lineman Jordan Willis to one-year deals. They placed linebacker Curtis Robinson and defensive back Jimmie Ward on injured reserve. Robinson and Ward will have to miss at least four games before returning to the active roster.
Ward injured his hamstring Aug. 15, and Robinson was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain in the third preseason game last Thursday.