Following the news of Tevin Coleman’s high ankle sprain, Niner Noise takes a look at three ways the San Francisco 49ers could replace him.
The San Francisco 49ers started training camp with a load of running backs. Now, only one week into the regular season, a room with five potential running backs have been cut down to only two.
Jerick McKinnon‘s season-ending knee setback caused slight cause for concern, but the combination of Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida would make sure that wasn’t an issue. But, per head coach Kyle Shanahan, Coleman suffered a high-ankle sprain during the Week 1 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
Shanahan confirmed that Coleman would be out against the Cincinnati Bengals this week and potentially much longer.
Coleman was expected to be a large part of the running back committee, if not the lead back in the group. His injury leaves a gaping hole in a rotation that struggled mightily Week 1.
Now, the 49ers are left with Breida and Raheem Mostert as the two pure running backs on the 53-man roster. Breida has been hampered with injuries often in his career; his production usually dips because he’s been forced to play less than 100 percent. Mostert showed signs of a breakout year last year, but he still is an unproven commodity.
Beyond the issues with the current group, there is a simple problem at hand for the 49ers: playing running back hurts. Having only two active running backs means the team is one injury away from having only one back and yet another injury from trotting out Kyle Juszczyk. Juszcyck is a great fullback, but he is not a great running back.
Luckily for the Niners, the running back position always has an ample amount of supply. Whether it be a bargain-bin addition or a big-time move, the 49ers should be able to cover for Coleman, no matter what.
Let’s examine a few options the 49ers might take.