3 burning questions for 49ers running backs in 2020
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: What Will Jerick McKinnon Do for 49ers Offense?
The Niners made Jerick McKinnon a key free-agent signing in 2018, and Kyle Shanahan later told reporters McKinnon’s ACL tear just before Week 1 forced some serious changes to the offense.
Signs looked good heading into 2019, but more complications forced McKinnon right back onto IR for the rest of the year.
More from SF 49ers News
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- Updated 49ers salary cap space ahead of 2023 NFL Draft
- Deebo Samuel fully admits his hatred of LA Rams
- Brock Purdy jokingly says he’s learning to throw left-handed
- 49ers news: Trey Lance is in the dark regarding trade talk
Finally, entering 2020, it’s looking as if McKinnon will be back and fully healthy.
In an ideal world, McKinnon is going to be the kind of player many a 49ers fan thought Tevin Coleman would be last year: a multipurpose, dual-threat kind of receiver capable of using both his excellent rushing prowess and his receiving abilities to great effect.
It didn’t quite happen with Coleman last year, although it’s hard to not look at McKinnon’s 51 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns in 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings without thinking of how that could impact Shanahan’s offense this year.
The layout for San Francisco’s backfield, provided Raheem Mostert is still there, would likely be Coleman assuming the majority of carries early as Shanahan is figuring out teams’ defenses, then Mostert being used for the explosive gains.
McKinnon, meanwhile, would be featured on third-down passing situations where he could be used as a safety valve.
Provided he’s fully back and recovered, of course.