Crisis can bring opportunity, and the injuries that have hit the 49ers’ running backs room could allow Jordan Mason to stake his claim.
The San Francisco 49ers took care of business in Week 2, and a strong 27-7 win over archrival Seattle Seahawks was a good way to make up for the Week 1 disappointment to start the season.
All the attention has been on the horrific ankle injury suffered by quarterback Trey Lance, for which we wish him a fast recovery (maybe even fast enough to return this season), but there was another injury that flew under the radar with a high-ankle sprain suffered by rookie running back Tyrion Davis-Price.
With Davis-Price out, for the time being, the depth will now be sorely tested even more than it already is. Marlon Mack joins the team from the practice squad, while undrafted rookie Jordan Mason now takes over as the backup back.
Mason impressed people with his strong performance in training camp and during the preseason. The Niners elected to keep him ahead of former third-round pick Trey Sermon, who was jettisoned and subsequently joined the Philadelphia Eagles, such was the talent the undrafted rookie showed.
Mason has shown an aptitude for the sort of rushing offense the 49ers run (pun intended). He’s got a wicked cut, waits for the holes to open and then darts through with blazing speed while showing the toughness to fight through tackles for that extra yard.
Wilson himself made the team in much the same way and showed himself to be an excellent backup for San Francisco.
Mason now finds himself in that exact situation behind Wilson.
The 49ers split the carries fairly evenly against the Seahawks with 18 carries (for 84 yards) to Wilson and the aforementioned 14 for Davis-Price. While we won’t necessarily see such an equitable sharing of the load with Mason, he still should see himself on the field pretty regularly.
If he shows the same potential he did in the preseason, Mason could very well be the latest in a string of undrafted backs to stake their claim on the rotation.