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Kyle Shanahan acknowledges errors in utilization of Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell – NBC Sports Bay Area & California


Sep 18, 2023

The 49ers have relied heavily on rookie running back Elijah Mitchell in the 2021 season. However, with the addition of Christian McCaffrey to the team, Mitchell is struggling to see playing time. In their recent win against the Los Angeles Rams, Mitchell did not play at all while McCaffrey was on the field for every offensive snap. Coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that the team made a mistake by not rotating their running backs and expressed a need for a better rotation in the future. McCaffrey currently leads the NFL in rushing attempts and yards through two weeks.

In the team’s Week 1 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, McCaffrey rushed for 152 yards while Mitchell only played for 10 snaps. Shanahan explained that player substitutions are generally the responsibility of the position coach, and as the play-caller, his main focus is on calling plays. Mitchell had a productive rookie season despite battling injuries and had several games with a high number of carries. However, his playing time decreased after McCaffrey joined the team last season.

Although McCaffrey is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL, Mitchell still has a role in the 49ers’ offense. It is crucial for the team to find a better balance and rotate their running backs to ensure that Mitchell gets the playing time he deserves.

By Editor

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