SF 49ers depth chart: 5 players who step up in wake of injuries

Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Jerick McKinnon, SF 49ers
Jerick McKinnon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers and John Franklin-Myers #91 of the New York Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

No. 2: SF 49ers Running Back Jerick McKinnon

Like the defensive line on that side of the ball, the 49ers’ crop of running backs was viewed as the deepest positional unit on offense heading into 2020.

And it’s already lost two of its four roster members, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, to injuries early this year.

Coleman hasn’t been too big a factor for Kyle Shanahan this season, averaging just 1.7 yards per carry over two weeks. But Mostert, who leads the Niners with 258 all-purpose yards and is tied for the team lead in touchdowns (two), is a significant loss.

Fortunately, fellow runner Jerick McKinnon has already shown why San Francisco was so interested in him back in 2018, contributing with two touchdowns of his own over the first two weeks and leading all running backs with a 16.8 yards-per-carry average, thanks largely to his 55-yard pickup in Week 2 on a 3rd-and-forever play.

Pretty impressive from a player who missed 2018 and 2019 with an ACL tear.

With Coleman and Mostert out for at least Week 3 and likely beyond, McKinnon is going to be asked to shoulder the bulk of work on the ground for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully, based on what he’s flashed early this season, that’s not exactly a bad sign for the SF 49ers’ run-first offense.