The 49ers placed running back Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve with a left knee injury. He is required to miss four games before returning, but Mitchell’s prognosis for his torn medical collateral ligament to heal is 6-8 weeks.
The first round of the postseason starts the weekend of Jan. 14-15, which is seven weeks after Mitchell’s injury.
The 49ers have only two short-term IR designations left and will save one for Mitchell in hopes he can play the postseason.
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.
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.