Sunday was a game filled with plenty of firsts. It was rookie running back Elijah Mitchell's first NFL game, where he recorded his first NFL touchdown and notched his first 100-yard game.
Now, the rookie is being recognized for his season opening performance, as Mitchell is up for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week following his Week 1 performance against the Detroit Lions.
On Sunday, Mitchell recorded 104 yards rushing on 19 carries (5.5 yards per carry average) to go along with a 38-yard score. Mitchell became the first rookie in franchise history to register 100-or-more rushing yards in their NFL debut. He also became the first 49ers rookie to register a rushing touchdown in his NFL debut since running back Carlos Hyde registered a 4-yard touchdown run in his debut at the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.
Mitchell's 38-yard touchdown run was the longest by a 49ers rookie since Brandon Aiyuk had a 38-yard rushing touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in October of 2020.
"I thought he did a real good job," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I mean, it's what we expected him to do, but it's always tough in your first game. He went in there, didn't hesitate and ran the ball well."
Mitchell is up against Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith and New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo for the weekly award.
Mitchell is the lone late-round pick (sixth round) to land as a nominee for the first award of the season.
Fans can vote for Mitchell through Friday at 12 PM PT to determine the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week. To cast your vote for Mitchell, click here.