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Elijah Mitchell ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Falcons

Mitchell has yet to practice this week. This will be the fifth game he’s missed this season.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Elijah Mitchell didn’t practice for the third day in a row. As a result, the 49ers leading rusher will miss his second game in a row and his fifth of the season. That means Jeff Wilson will take the lead, with Deebo Samuel taking carries and JaMycal Hasty as the third-down back.

The 49ers running backs have struggled when Mitchell doesn’t play. However, that should change Sunday with Atlanta’s defensive line. They are the perfect “get right” unit San Francisco needs to get their running game back on track.

Dontae Johnson returned to practice. Ambry Thomas did as well as he’s working through the concussion protocol. Kyle Shanahan told reporters last Friday that Johnson would have started at cornerback if he were available. Both Shanahan and defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said they were happy with how Thomas performed against the Bengals throughout the week.

Do you roll with the veteran who has only practiced once this week? Or, do you give the rookie another shot? I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that Thomas will be better now that he’s had two weeks of practice under his belt and doesn’t have to worry about going against a wide receiver the caliber of Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins every play.

D.J. Jones returned to practice after missing the past two days with a knee injury. Jones, George Kittle, and Fred Warner are all good to go for Sunday.

Azeez Al-Shaair, who is out with an elbow, is doubtful. The reporters on-hand at practice said Al-Shaair was on the field for walk-through but came off to get physical therapy as the team began warmups. Dre Greenlaw has yet to practice this week either with a groin injury.

If Al-Shaair can’t play, that means both Marcell Harris and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles would play. Harris has played 199 snaps on the season, while DFF has played 119 snaps. Harris’s athleticism is no denying, but he can be a bit reckless, which leads to big plays. Harris has a broken tackle rate of 30% this season. Al-Shaair has a reputation of being a poor tackler. His broken tackle rate is 14.8%.

Here’s a look at the final injury report:


RB Elijah Mitchell (concussion)

DT Maurice Hurst (calf)

LB Dre Greenlaw (groin)


LB Azeez Al-Shaair (elbow)


S Jaquiski Tartt (glute)

CB Ambry Thomas (concussion)

DT D.J. Jones (knee)

Tartt has been rotating with safety Talanoa Hufanga. With the Titans game next Thursday, it’ll be interesting to see how a quick turnaround affects the decision of who plays this Sunday.

Shanahan said he’s “not optimistic,” but he’s hoping Mitchell could play Thursday. There’s one example. Shanahan confirmed that Mitchell should be cleared from the protocol later today, and he’s not playing because of his knee injury: With pain tolerance of knee, thought it’d go down faster, and it hasn’t quicker than we thought.”