This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
WHITE SWALLOW SPRINGS, W.Va. – The San Francisco 49ers picked up their first win of the season in the standings on Sunday, but it came at the expense of two important losses to the roster.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday that laid-back Raheem Mostert is going to miss about eight weeks due to “peeled cartilage” in one knee. The injury requires arthroscopic surgery and lands Mostert on the injured reserve.
Shanahan also confirmed that further imaging on cornerback Jason Verrett’s right knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, an injury that will also require surgery and end Verrett’s season less than a full game into it.
Those two injuries combined with almost blowing a 28-point lead against the Detroit Lions on Sunday dampened the Niners’ mood after their 41-33 victory. That Mostert and Verrett were lost for such long periods after a 2020 season in which the Niners were ravaged by injuries left Shanahan answering whether he should warn his team not to fall into a “here we go again” trap.
“It’s part of football,” Shanahan said. “I’m not going to sit here and be a therapist for everyone about it. I thought we came out of the game mostly healthy. It was two unfortunate things for both of them. Fortunately, I think we’ll get Raheem back later in years, so we have to make sure those guys keep the fort down while he’s gone. “
“The Guys” that Shanahan refers to are rookie runners Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon and second-year pro JaMycal Hasty.
Mitchell figures to get the first crack at stepping into the starting lineup 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.
The sermon was somewhat of a surprise inactive Sunday after spending most of the preseason as the first back on the bench behind Mostert. Shanahan explained that the sermon had simply been knocked out, but that the team will now look at elections in the third round to provide depth.
“He really showed some things in the preseason and looked good, and then Elijah came in and looked a little ahead of him at the limited games he got and no one passed Raheem,” Shanahan said. “So you can only get three guys up. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s part of the NFL. It’s a matter of time. We have not come through a year here where we have not started at least four backs, and now we’re in week 2 and he’s up anyway. “
Jeff Wilson Jr., who was Mustard’s primary backup in 2020, is working his way back from a meniscus injury he sustained in the spring. Shanahan said Wilson is “definitely on schedule” to return hoping he could return around mid-season. Wilson is on the physically unable to complete the list, meaning he can return before week 7 at the earliest.
“He looked good here, coaching, getting ready, and I know he will help us at some point this year,” Shanahan said.
Verrett, meanwhile, will miss the rest of the season after suffering his injury with about 7½ minutes to go against the Lions. Verrett, who tore his left ACL in 2016 and his right Achilles in 2018, immediately seemed to know what the injury was.
Despite his best attempt to go to the sideline, Verrett stopped right at it and reached his injured knee again before being helped to the locker room. Verrett and the Niners feared an ACL tear right after the game, a fear that turned out to be true Monday.
Shanahan said he spent a lot of time with Verrett on Sunday night, and Verrett was understandably upset, especially after working so hard to jump back from previous injuries.
For now, Verrett plans to stay on the team while rehearsing at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, leading to Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shanahan said the Niners are working to get Verrett’s wife to the East Coast so she can be with him.
Shanahan said the 49ers intend to continue with Verrett as he embarks on another lengthy rehab.
“I want to talk to Jason about everything,” Shanahan said. “It’s always a tough situation, but I will believe in Jason until he does not do it. If anyone can get through things like this, no matter how many times it has happened, it is Jason.”