Jeff Wilson Jr. confident in 49ers' run game despite struggles vs. Texans

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Wilson Jr. confident 49ers tailbacks will 'giddy up' come Week 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

HOUSTON -- The 49ers' run game was held to 51 total yards in their 17-0 preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Thursday, but Jeff Wilson Jr. believes there is no need to panic.

Wilson, who is in his fifth season with the team, knows what the running backs on the 49ers' roster are capable of and shared that when the time comes, they will be ready. The North Texas product carried the ball three times for 16 yards in a game that was filled with missed assignments and mistakes.

Wilson and Trey Sermon were the most productive ball carriers of the night, but after they left the game early in the first half, the 49ers' ground game came to a complete stop. Sermon recorded eight carries for 20 yards, which was the highest total in the game.

In the second half, the 49ers' offense recorded a dismal 11 carries for six yards. Coach Kyle Shanahan did not game plan for any of the club's preseason matchups, and that, along with the new combinations on the offensive line, could be a factor in the low production.

Wilson, however, doesn’t blame new personnel on the offensive front for the lack of production on the ground. The 26-year-old believes that the run game will once again take center stage when Week 1 rolls around.

“I don’t think it’s hard, especially with our room,” Wilson said Thursday. “We’ve got some horses in there. You got to giddy-up. If you don’t giddy-up, it’ll be the next man. It’s football at the end of the day. It’s kind of like riding a bike, you just got to get on there and start pedaling.”

Wilson knows the pressure is on the young group of ball carriers that includes rookies Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason, who had significantly better production in the 49ers' second preseason outing vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

Davis-Price and Mason, who totaled 98 yards combined in Minnesota, saw a drastic drop in Houston. Davis-Price struggled, recording four carries for minus-three yards, while Mason managed seven yards on his four attempts.

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But Wilson continues to see progress from the young backs and believes they will continue to improve as they gain more experience.

“Those guys have grown, especially from the first day of camp when they first got here,” Wilson said. “Just to see how those guys are growing, I’m so proud of them. It reminds me of myself, because I remember being in those same shoes. It’s really unique.”

Wilson himself will be a factor in the upcoming season, feeling fully healthy after being another year removed from the meniscus injury that kept him out of the first eight games of the 2021 season.

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