49ers roster: 5 Niners who’ve shouldered the load through Week 11
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: 49ers Running Back Elijah Mitchell
Injuries might be a good enough reason why rookie running back Elijah Mitchell isn’t ranked higher on this list, as he’s already missed seven games this year with setbacks, including being absent during San Francisco’s win over the Jaguars.
But one could make the argument Mitchell has been a massive reason why the 49ers offense has rediscovered its run-first offensive identity.
Mitchell already tied a franchise record with three 100-yard rushing games his rookie season, and it’s highly probable he breaks that record over the next few weeks. On top of that, him rushing for an average of 4.8 yards per carry helps the 49ers get away from having to rely too much on the limited passing prowess of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Case in point, the Niners’ 44-rush victory over the Los Angeles Rams where Mitchell had a whopping 27 of them.
San Francisco hasn’t received much production from its other crop of running backs, so Mitchell getting 633 net yards from scrimmage, second most on offense, means he has to be included on this list of key contributors.