No. 2: SF 49ers Running Back Jeff Wilson Jr.
Although McKinnon is expected to take the lead role in the 49ers’ ground game, Shanahan has never been content to feature only one running back in his offense.
That takes us to the next man up, running back Jeff Wilson.
After last week’s injuries at the position, Wilson is in line to get work in this week’s game. In his previous appearances, Wilson has done well carrying the ball in Shanahan’s system. Perhaps most notably, he caught a game-winning touchdown last season in Week 11’s shootout with the Arizona Cardinals.
Wilson has been given a featured role in the Niners’ offense multiple times in his years with the team. And nearly every time, he has produced, as the Shanahan system always seems to allow running backs to do.
This week, while McKinnon should take the lead role, expect Wilson to come in to handle a share of the carries. In fact, while unlikely, it is not impossible that Shanahan makes Wilson the lead back and keeps McKinnon in the pass-catching role he had for the first two weeks.
Regardless of the role, Wilson’s ability and Shanahan’s system mean that Wilson should shine in whatever role he is given in this game.