5 biggest takeaways from 49ers win with Trey Lance vs. Texans
By Peter Panacy
Takeaway No. 3: 49ers need Elijah Mitchell fully healthy
The Niners can be thankful veteran running back Jeff Wilson Jr. held the line for the last three weeks.
But there’s no doubting just how much they missed rookie running back Elijah Mitchell, who has been out with both a concussion and knee injuries during that timeframe.
Mitchell set a new franchise record for rookie running backs on the ground, now boasting 878 rushing yards after adding 119 on 21 carries and averaging 5.7 yards per attempt versus the Texans.
San Francisco could start either Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo for Week 18 and, hopefully, into the postseason. Yet both are at their best when they’ve got a quality run game working well enough, and Mitchell has long shown this season he’s the best option the 49ers have within their backfield.
The only problem, however, is Mitchell has been banged up already this season, missing all but 10 games this year but still within a game’s shot of cresting that notable 1,000-yard rushing plateau.
The Niners have to do everything in their power to ensure Mitchell doesn’t suffer another injury if they want to make any noise in the postseason, including getting there.