The 49ers announced they activated rookie running back Trey Sermon from the injured reserve. Sermon has been inactive since Week 12, when he suffered an ankle sprain.
Sermon wasn’t expected to miss the remainder of the season after he sustained his injury against the Vikings, as Kyle Shanahan said it wasn’t a high ankle sprain. That was on November 29.
Sermon is now the fourth running back on the roster alongside Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, and JaMycal Hasty. That doesn’t include Deebo Samuel or Kyle Juszczyk.
Against the Rams, Juszczyk was the third-down back when the team wanted their back to stay in and pass protect. Instead, they used Hasty out of the backfield when they wanted a fifth eligible receiver.
What will Sermon’s role be? Wilson has served as the lead blocker on carries to Deebo. Outside of that, he doesn’t play other than special teams. If Sermon is a better lead blocker, maybe there. I’d be surprised if anybody other than Mitchell or Deebo had more than one carry outside of that role.
The Cowboys finished the second half of the season 20th in rushing EPA allowed per play. As a result, Shanahan could be loading up to run the ball 50 times.