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49ers were among four teams to make a preliminary inquiry for Colts RB Marlon Mack

With the team healthier at running back now, a trade for Mack seems unlikely.

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A month ago, the 49ers were a logical destination for a running back. It seemed as though each active running back was banged up on the roster. That’s why Colts RB Marlon Mack made sense.

Fast forward to today, and JaMychal Hasty is back in the lineup — although he was limited during Wednesday’s practice. Elijah Mitchell has returned as the starter, and Trey Sermon presumably would serve as the emergency running back. Plus, Jeff Wilson Jr. should return in a few weeks.

Mitchell had his best game against Arizona — as a runner, not statistically, but the group as a whole have been below average according to what’s been expected:

Speed is necessary for a 49er running back. But, after watching Sermon, I’m not sure it’s even debatable anymore. That’s how big plays happen in this offense.

According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, the 49ers were among three teams to make preliminary inquiries for Mack over the last few weeks. However, if San Francisco were to acquire Mack, they’d be on the hook for his fully guaranteed salary of $1 million, which is prorated.

After this season, Mack is an unrestricted free agent and would cost next to nothing for the 49ers to acquire. He suffered a torn Achilles during Week 1 of the 2020 season. Mack was unhappy with his playing time and demanded a trade from Indianapolis earlier this year.

He has 25 carries for 97 yards, which is an average of 3.9 for the Colts this season. Mack’s long is 22 yards. He’s only 25 and is better than the numbers show, but multiple injuries could scare any team away.

Trading for a running back after you just drafted two — including traded up for one — would be an indictment on how you feel about your current rookies. The 49ers likely reached out to get a feel for Mack’s market when they were down to Sermon and Jacques Patrick. I’d guess nothing came of those talks, and that’s why Mack wasn’t moved.