Raheem Mostert injury likely spells end of tenure with 49ers

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

In the wake of his recent season-ending injury, Raheem Mostert has likely played his last down with the 49ers and won’t be back in 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers likely won’t ever to get to know what it’s like to have veteran running back Raheem Mostert as a truly featured offensive showpiece.

There were glimpses late in 2019 during the Niners’ Super Bowl run, when Mostert shared a crowded backfield but shined during the postseason. And there were moments, too, in 2020 despite injuries popping up all over the roster that year, the same kind that ultimately limited Mostert to eight games played.

Unfortunately, he’ll have only one game played in 2021.

The twice-recorded fastest ball-carrier in the NFL last season, per Next Gen Stats, suffered what appeared to be a minor but game-ending knee injury in San Francisco’s Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions. The following day, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters the injury was much more serious, and Mostert would miss at least eight weeks with torn cartilage.

On Tuesday, Mostert informed the NFL world he would opt for season-ending knee surgery:



True, the 49ers will look to get by with a stable of younger, hopefully healthier running backs this season. Two rookies, Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell, figure to benefit a lot from Mostert’s absence, and second-year pro JaMycal Hasty now seems to be a much more high-profile player.

Additionally, the Niners can look forward to a healthy return of veteran rusher Jeff Wilson Jr., who has been sidelined on the physically unable-to-perform list with a meniscus tear suffered during organized team activities last spring.

As for Mostert, though, there’s a big chance he’s played his last down with San Francisco.

Raheem Mostert likely leaves 49ers in 2022

True, it’s anyone’s guess what Shanahan elects to do with Mostert a little less than a year from now once the league’s new year begins.

But Mostert, 29 years old and turning 30 this April, is also a pending unrestricted free agent next season. Without even looking at his recent injury history, Mostert is already a candidate for being at the very tail end of his career, particularly for running backs. And while Mostert wasn’t truly a No. 1 rushing option until very late in his pro tenure, the multitude of injuries he has suffered likely points towards him not being a strong candidate to return to the 49ers in 2022.

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Additionally, the Niners already invested two 2021 draft picks — a Round 3 selection on Sermon and a Round 6 pick on Mitchell — to bolster the offensive backfield, and the younger Wilson is likely a cheaper re-sign option anyway.

The Niners probably didn’t have Mostert in their plans beyond this season anyway before the injury, and his latest unfortunate setback likely seals his fate with San Francisco.

Not ideal for Mostert. But it is what it is.

Of course, the 49ers could look to retain Mostert on the cheap, banking on one or two more healthy seasons with the knowledge the running back room remains deep next year. But that seems to be the stretch.

If so, Mostert will leave the Niners in the wake of a six-year tenure that saw 1,971 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns in 46 regular-season games played.

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