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Joe Williams, Raheem Mostert have their best chance this week

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With Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida both out due to injury this week, the 49ers will be turning to the third stringers. Can Joe Williams or Raheem Mostert make their case to make the 53-man roster?

San Francisco 49ers fans collectively held their breath as they heard running back Jerick McKinnon would be having an MRI on his knee. Fortunately, it revealed a simple muscle strain, but McKinnon will still be out for the week, and will not participate in Saturday’s preseason game against the Houston Texans. Nor will Matt Breida who is out with a shoulder injury, likely for the rest of the preseason.

Next man up. If there ever was a chance for Joe Williams or Raheem Mostert to make their cases to be on the roster, now’s the time.

With the sudden lack of running backs, both Williams and Mostert will be mixing time with the ones and the twos—a much better way to gauge ability than the threes and fours. Mostert took over on Sunday while Williams was away attending a funeral, but that will change upon Williams’ return.

Both had their issues in their first preseason game. Williams scored a touchdown, but beyond that, could only average just over a under 2.5 yards per carry. Mostert on the other hand, had a nice collection of yards, ruined by his fumble. Kyle Shanahan wants a third running back and both have a chance to step up.

It will be interesting to see how either of them do now that they have been elevated due to the injuries of Breida and McKinnon. If there ever was a chance for them to make an impression, this week is it.