SF 49ers: 4 players who need to see more playing time moving forward

Jeff Wilson #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jeff Wilson #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Wilson, SF 49ers
Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

No. 4: SF 49ers Running Back Jeff Wilson

It’s unfortunate running back Jeff Wilson suffered a high-ankle sprain on his third touchdown of the game in San Francisco’s blowout win over the Patriots.

But if a player is going to suffer an injury that’ll likely shelve him on short-term injured reserve, doing so on a touchdown is a way to go about it.

For whatever the reasons, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t feature Wilson much since he joined the league in 2018. When Wilson has been on the field, though, he’s delivered. Remember that come-from-behind home win over the Arizona Cardinals in 2019? Well, it was Wilson’s game-winning touchdown that sealed the deal. And with the SF 49ers’ top two running backs, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, out in Week 7 against the Pats, all Wilson did was deliver with a 17-carry, 112-yard, three-touchdown performance averaging 6.6 yards per attempt.

An underrated pass-catcher, Wilson offers a similar skill set as Coleman and fellow tailback Jerick McKinnon, as far as receiving the ball. But the 6-foot-0, 194-pound Wilson is also a bigger back than many of the other names Shanahan has at his disposal.

Week 7 showed Wilson is capable of explosive runs, too.

Coleman is tabbed for free agency in 2021, and it’s hard to see the Niners bringing him back. Wilson, a former undrafted free agent still on his rookie contract, is a restricted free agent next season and will be a much cheaper commodity.

It would be smart for San Francisco to bump Wilson up the depth chart once he returns from injury.