The San Francisco 49ers received bad news on running back Raheem Mostert on Monday. He’s headed to injured reserve after chipping cartilage in his knee in Week 1. Mostert is out at least eight weeks.
The 49ers will split the carries up between the trio of JaMychal Hasty, Trey Sermon, Elijah Mitchell to take over in Mostert’s absence. Or they could choose to make a trade for a veteran running back, a guy like Jordan Howard makes a lot of sense. The Philadelphia Eagles kept the one-time Pro Bowler on the practice squad last week. Howard was one of their protected players, but remained inactive on gameday.
It seems like a wasted roster spot for a player with 3,955 career rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns. Howard looked sharp in the preseason where he showed an ability to catch the football out of the backfield. He could be a valuable piece for a 49ers squad thought to be playoff contenders this year. San Francisco and Philadelphia meet in Week 2 at Lincoln Financial Field. The 49ers are listed as 3.5-point road favorites.
Meanwhile, the Eagles appear set in the backfield with starter Miles Sanders carrying the load and rookie Kenneth Gainwell spelling him. Gainwell went off for 37 yards on nine carries with a touchdown on Sunday. Sanders finished with 15 touches for 74 yards. Third-stringer Boston Scott didn’t see any offensive snaps against the Atlanta Falcons.
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Nick Sirianni Impressed with Gainwell
The Eagles used a fifth-round pick on Gainwell in April’s draft and he saw 25 offensive snaps, including that eight-yard touchdown run. More impressively, the rookie stayed on the field during the team’s two-minute drill and proved he can handle his blocking assignments in pass protection. Head coach Nick Sirianni sounded ready to hand Gainwell even more responsibility.
“Does he still have things to work on? Absolutely,” Sirianni said. “He’s going to be the first to tell you he has to work on some things. But he wants some back that he had yesterday, but he had a couple of big time plays in protection, as well. And so that’s what he had to show to earn his right out there. And we felt like he did that. And you can see he made a couple of plays for us in that two-minute drive yesterday.”
Eagles Update Injury Report After Week 1
The Eagles were lucky to walk away from their Week 1 matchup with minimal damage on the injury front. Tight end Zach Ertz tweaked his hamstring in the first half, but it’s not considered anything too serious. Wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside hurt his ankle and remains day-to-day.
And safety Marcus Epps – he started in place of Rodney McLeod on Sunday – is officially in the concussion protocol. If McLeod and Epps are both out for Week 2, the Eagles would turn to second-year player K’Von Wallace at the strong safety spot.
“J.J. ankle, he’s day-to-day,” Sirianni said. “Zach’s hamstring, we were just being cautious there. He, obviously, came back in and played, we’re still evaluating through with him. Marcus is still in the concussion protocol.”