The San Francisco 49ers had a mostly great night in beating the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football, but there was one negative. Running back Raheem Mostert suffered a fractured right forearm that will end his season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday that Mostert had surgery Friday morning and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Mostert was having a career year as a running back after spending his first two seasons as almost exclusively a special teams player. He rushed 34 times for 261 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. On Thursday, he scored his first career touchdown on a 52-yard run.
I had always viewed Mostert as strictly a special teams guy, but he impressed in a big way when he earned an opportunity as a running back. He fumbled in Week 5 and seemed destined for just special teams work, but a week later he busted out with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries. All but 11 of his yards came in the past four weeks.
However, his absence will also be felt on special teams. He serves as a gunner, getting down the field on punts to get coverage on the returner. A year ago, the 49ers were among the best in the league at punt coverage until Mostert was lost to an injury. A week later, Bears returner Tarik Cohen ran back a punt for a touchdown. I don’t know if we’ll see that from the Giants, or any other teams this year, but Mostert’s loss will be felt on special teams.
The good news is it sounds like it was a clean break and Mostert should be fine for the 2019 season. He will be a restricted free agent after this season, so we’ll see how the 49ers tender him and whether or not another team tries to sign him to an offer sheet given what we saw in his four appearances.