San Francisco will be shorthanded at the running back position heading into their Week 14 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Just ahead of the team's Midwest trek, Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media and revealed running back Elijah Mitchell has officially been ruled OUT for Sunday's game. Mitchell briefly left the 49ers Week 13 contest against the Seattle Seahawks after suffering a head injury. Despite being re-evaluated postgame, Mitchell experienced symptoms the following day, placing him back in the concussion protocol. He also experienced some "knee irritation," a new injury that the team will be monitoring.
Deebo Samuel is another name who could be a boost to the 49ers ground (and air) game in his return from a groin injury. Samuel missed last week's contest in Seattle and since has been making a push to return to the field. After missing the team's first two sessions of the week, Samuel was a limited participant on Friday and has been designated as questionable to play on Sunday.
It's also worth noting return specialist and running back Trenton Cannon has officially been ruled OUT as he continues to be monitored in the 49ers concussion protocol.
Defensively, the 49ers are already thin at the cornerback position with Emmanuel Moseley suffering a high-ankle sprain last week and expected to miss "several weeks," per Shanahan. On Friday, the head coach revealed fellow cornerback Dontae Johnson is questionable for Sunday as he is dealing with a personal matter.
Rookies Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas are other options San Francisco might look to on Sunday. Shanahan said a practice squad elevation is another option the 49ers could take. Should Johnson be available against the Bengals, he is likely to get the start in place of Moseley.
As for the Bengals, the team feels confident in running back Joe Mixon (illness) being on hand for Sunday, despite missing all three of the team's practices this week. In addition to Mixon, wide receiver Tee Higgins (ankle) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (foot) have been listed as questionable. However, head coach Zac Taylor feels optimistic about their availability heading into the weekend.
Here's a full look at the final injury report heading into the weekend.
- RB Chris Evans (ankle)
- LB Logan Wilson (shoulder)
- DT Tyler Shelvin (illness)
- LB Markus Bailey (neck)
- CB Chidobe Awuzie (foot)
- WR Tee Higgins (ankle)
- RB Joe Mixon (illness)