49ers' Elijah Mitchell avoids serious knee injury, expected to miss time

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Mitchell avoids serious injury, likely to miss multiple weeks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers believe running back Elijah Mitchell avoided a long-term knee injury on Sunday.

Mitchell exited the 49ers’ 13-0 victory over the New Orleans Saints early in the third quarter with what coach Kyle Shanahan said was an injury to the medial-collateral ligament.

The injury is not believed to be nearly as serious as the injury he sustained in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, which kept him out of action for eight games.

Still, Mitchell is expected to miss multiple games due to the injury.

Mitchell has 224 yards rushing this season on 40 rushing attempts. In his first game back he gained a team-high 89 yards on 18 carries against the Los Angeles Chargers.

On Sunday, Mitchell led the 49ers with 35 yards rushing on seven attempts.

Starting running back Christian McCaffrey battled a banged-up knee in the game, and split carries in the second half with undrafted rookie Jordan Mason. McCaffrey gained 32 yards on 11 rushing attempts, while Mason had 25 yards on five carries.

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Mason helped the 49ers run out the final 6:18 of the game with carries of 9, 4, 5 and 7 yards.

Mason was active on Sunday ahead of third-round draft pick Ty Davis-Price due to his contributions on special teams. Davis-Price likely is to suit up for games until Mitchell's return.

The 49ers also have the option of moving up veteran Tevin Coleman from the practice squad.

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