clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Matt Barrows: Jeff Wilson Jr. will start at RB against the Texans

Looks like Kyle Shanahan is going with an old favorite at running back

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Everything you need to know in about five minutes

Running back is one of the most unsettled position groups on the 49ers, but we now know who is going to be out there with the first team against the Houston Texans. According to Matt Barrows, Jeff Wilson Jr. will take the field in the final preseason game as the starting halfback.

While third-round draft picks Trey Sermon and Ty Davis-Price have gotten a lot of attention at the position, Wilson has already proven himself to Kyle Shanahan.

“Jeff last year was so unfortunate for him getting hurt in the locker room in OTAs, so he didn’t get any offseason, OTAs, he didn’t get any training camp,” Shanahan said. “Then he got healthy about a week before we needed him in a game. So, Jeff, last year played off — to me — all heart, and he helped us when he came in. And this year, he’s healthy. So to me, he is back to being the Jeff Wilson we’ve always seen.”

Wilson played in nine games last year but was never really back to his old self, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. When he’s healthy, however, Wilson can be very productive. For example, in 2020, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 126 attempts. That year included a 17 carry, 112-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Patriots and a 22 carry, 183-yard performance against the Cardinals.

If Trey Sermon and Ty Davis-Price are going to justify the draft capital the team has invested in them, they will probably have to do it after Jeff Wilson has gotten his chance with the first team offense.

Make sure you follow the Niners Nation Podcast Network now! Our daily 49ers in Five podcast gives you the latest news, the most interesting press conference and radio interview clips, and everything else that you need to know - all in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee.