49ers RB Mostert must be operated on after one season

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WHITE SWALLOW SPRINGS, W.Va. – Two days and more medical consultations after leaving the season opener against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury, the San Francisco 49ers, who are running back Raheem Mostert’s season, are over.

Mostert took to social media Tuesday to announce that an injury Niners hoped would require minor arthroscopic surgery will instead end his 2021 season. On Monday, the Niners had said he might return in about eight weeks.

“This gives me without a doubt the best chance of returning 110%. I have ALWAYS come back stronger and I will this time too! I have faith in myself, my doctors, my support system, my team, and God,” said Mostert in a statement on social media, adding that he was “worn out” by the decision.

When Mostert finished for the season, 49ers running back Kerryon Johnson signed to their training team on Tuesday. Johnson joins an ongoing backroom that also includes rookies Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon and second-year pro JaMycal Hasty, all of whom are on the active list.

Mostert, 29, suffered the injury in Sunday’s 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions. He carried twice in 20 yards on San Francisco’s second possession, but took to the sidelines shortly after a 9-yard win on the series’ second game.

On Monday, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Mostert would miss about eight weeks of “cut cartilage” in a knee that would require arthroscopic surgery. But Mostert sought several opinions to ensure that when he returns, he will be at full strength. These further statements pointed him in the direction of an operation that would require a longer recovery time.

All of this calls into question whether Mostert has played his last game with the 49ers. He is in the final season of a $ 8.65 million three-year deal he signed in 2019. He had a breakout finish to the 2019 season, jumped on the field in the playoffs and rushed to 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship Play against the Green Bay Packers.

But Mostert was limited to eight games in 2020, as knee and ankle sprains cost him two and six games, respectively. He came in this year as the Niners’ undisputed top back, but the team began planning for the future by selecting the Sermon in the third round and Mitchell in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2021.

Mitchell stepped in for Mostert after the injury. He expects to get the first crack at the starting job after setting a 49ers franchise record for rushing yards (104 on 19 carries) in a debut. Hasty, who ran for a touchdown against Detroit, is expected to move up to second place in the rotation with Preaching third.

49ers placed Mostert and cornerback Jason Verrett (torn right ACL) on injured reserve Tuesday, signed veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and promoted cornerback Dontae Johnson from the training team to the 53-man roster in similar moves. The team currently had 52 players on their 53-man roster.

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