It’s common for the 49ers to lean heavily on rookie quarterback Elijah Mitchell in 2021. However, with the addition of Christian McCaffrey to the team, Mitchell is struggling to see playing time.

During the 49ers’ recent win over the Los Angeles Rams, Mitchell was one of four active and healthy players who did not take the field. In contrast, McCaffrey played every offensive snap for the team. Coach Kyle Shanahan admitted the team made a mistake in the quarterback rotation and acknowledged the need to get Mitchell more involved.

McCaffrey currently leads the NFL in rushing attempts and yards through two weeks of the season. In a Week 1 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he rushed for 152 yards while Mitchell only played 10 snaps.

Shanahan noted that the responsibility for substitutions rests largely with the position coaches, while his primary focus is on playmaking. However, he also admitted that he should have noticed and asked for Mitchell’s involvement.

During his rookie season, Mitchell battled injuries but had a tough job while on the court. In the final five games of the regular season, he had two games with 27 rushing attempts and three games with at least 21 carries. He also had 27 carries in the 49ers’ first playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Mitchell’s playing time was significantly reduced with the arrival of McCaffrey midway through last season. Even though McCaffrey is considered one of the best running backs in the league, that doesn’t mean Mitchell shouldn’t have any role in the 49ers’ offense.

By Editor

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