Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell’s return is perfect timing for 49ers playoff run

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Elijah Mitchell celebrates a TD for the SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (25) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The importance of Elijiah Mitchell to the 49ers playoff run

Running back Elijah Mitchell certainly needs no introduction. He set the 49ers rookie rushing record last season (963) and almost eclipsed 1,000 yards despite playing in a backfield that operates as a committee.

Fast forward to season two and Mitchell has seen limited time due to an injury he sustained in Week 1. However, prior to the start of Week 18, Mitchell was cleared for play, and boy did he show up.

Mitchell took advantage of split duties with fellow running back Christian McCaffrey, rushing for 55 yards while averaging (11.0) yards-per-carry and finding the end zone twice. That’s an amazing performance considering that McCaffrey had 79 total yards of his own and was the first one to add a touchdown.

The 49ers’ Week 18 performance against the Arizona Cardinals is a classic example of what you can expect week after week when dealing with Mitchell and McCaffrey’s skillset. Two running backs with completely different running styles that can make defenders miss, catch out of the backfield and are great open field runners.

Mitchell performed beautifully last year in the postseason and is no doubt geared for another record setting performance. Despite injuries, he’s got a lot of football left in him, but let’s be honest this right here is what you’ve waiting for.