Elijah Mitchell‘s knee injury was more serious than expected, and the 49ers running back will miss 6-8 weeks.
“It wasn’t the news we were looking for,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in a conference call with local media, via Jerry McDonald of the East Bay Times.
The team initially thought Mitchell had an MCL sprain that would keep him out 2-4 weeks.
“He’s pretty disappointed,” Shanahan said. “Everyone knows how good Elijah’s been, how hard he’s worked to get back from his last one and how good he’s been playing since he came back. To be right back there, I know he was real down on it. He’s had some real bad luck. He got rolled up on and it was a bad position for him to be in.”
Mitchell, who set a franchise rookie record with 963 yards rushing last season, only returned from an injured reserve stint on Nov. 12. He injured his knee in the season opener and missed seven games.
Mitchell had 34 carries for 183 yards the past three games while splitting time with Christian McCaffrey as the 49ers’ lead back. McCaffrey came out of Sunday’s game with “knee irritation” so the 49ers will monitor him this week as they get ready to host the Dolphins.
Rookies Jordan Mason and Ty Davis-Price could see more playing time this week. Mason had five carries for 25 yards on Sunday against the Saints.