49ers Announce IR Decision for Offensive Threat Ahead of Cowboys Game

Trey Sermon

Getty Trey Sermon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled during a game.

As the San Francisco 49ers gear up for their January 16 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, they’re hoping to get every possible piece healthy and back on the field.

After getting rookie running back Elijah Mitchell back for the 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18, it appears as if another rookie running back could return for the playoffs: Trey Sermon.

Before the team released the news, NBC Sports Matt Maiocco reported that the rookie is being activated.

“The #49ers are activating RB Trey Sermon off injured reserve,” Maiocco wrote on January 11. “He went on IR after sustaining an ankle injury in Week 12 against Minnesota. Today was the deadline to activate him or keep him on IR for the rest of the season.”

The more the merrier. Mitchell has broken out in a big way this season, but the potential of having a promising runner like Sermon in the stable is something the 49ers should be excited about.

However, it’s worth noting that Sermon is just being activated. This is not the team saying he will play this Sunday in the Wild Card battle against the Cowboys, but that he isn’t being shelved on the injury reserve for the rest of the campaign.

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Sermon’s Rookie Season

When Sermon and Mitchell were drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, most would’ve bet on Sermon to have the best chance for a breakout year. After impressing in his final year with Ohio State, Sermon looked ready to contribute right away in the NFL.

But Mitchell was the one to make a statement, while Sermon has had injury issues and a bit of trouble getting opportunities.

Per Pro Football Reference, Sermon has 167 yards on 41 rush attempts in nine games. He also has a touchdown and 26 receiving yards. Before his injury in Week 12, he had also been playing around 50% of the special teams snaps.

His 4.1 yards per carry isn’t that bad, but Mitchell has averaged 4.7 per attempt with five times the attempts. Perhaps Sermon would have done better with more attempts, but Mitchell has taken over the space Raheem Mostert left with his early-season injury and it has paid off for the Niners.

Still, just having Sermon available is a boost. As mentioned, Mitchell was injured recently and could get banged up again. One would expect Jeff Wilson Jr. to immediately step in, but Sermon would likely get more looks too.

49ers No Longer Have Players on COVID-19 List

After going through the majority of the season without COVID-19 issues, a wave of positive tests hit the 49ers over the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, San Francisco is now back to full strength with no members on the COVID-19 list.

Defensive back Deommodore Lenoir was the sole player still out of commission, and the 49ers announced that the 2021 fifth-round pick out of Oregon is back with the team.

Lenoir started the first couple of games of the season but has since been a depth option for the San Francisco defense. But like with Sermon, the 49ers can never have enough depth and options as they enter the playoffs.

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