Niners Add 2 RBs, 1 Former Starter to Depleted Position Group: Report

Trenton Cannon

Getty Ty'Son Williams #34 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with Trenton Cannon #39 after scoring a touchdown.

Next man up is becoming an all too familiar theme for the San Francisco 49ers. So much so, they’ve at times resorted to finding that man in free agency or via the waiver wire.

Since losing starting running back Raheem Mostert for the remainder of the year due to torn cartilage in his knee, which will necessitate season-ending surgery, the Niners have added multiple names to their ever-deepening cast of backfield rushers.

The newest addition is former Baltimore Ravens RB Trenton Cannon, who San Francisco claimed off of waivers on Wednesday, September 15. ESPN’s NFL insider Field Yates took to Twitter with the news Wednesday afternoon.

“Following an injury to Raheem Mostert, the 49ers have claimed RB Trenton Cannon off of waivers from the Ravens,” Yates tweeted.

Journeyman Cannon Had Short-Lived Stint in Baltimore

Ravens Trenton Cannon

GettyRunning back Trenton Cannon participates in a drill during training camp with the Carolina Panthers in July.

Baltimore released Cannon on Tuesday, just six days after adding him to the roster. The running back saw time for the Ravens in their Week 1 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, carrying the ball on two occasions and gaining a total of five yards.

Much like the Niners, the Ravens have dealt with serious injuries to their RB group. Running backs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards each suffered ACL tears during the preseason. San Francisco lost Jeff Wilson Jr., their leading rusher from 2020, to a knee injury of his own in the preseason, while Mostert went down during the Niners’ Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Clearly, the Ravens did not feel Cannon was the answer in Baltimore. For now, at least, the Niners feel differently.

The New York Jets drafted Cannon in 2018. He also caught on with the Carolina Panthers for a time in 2020 before landing in Baltimore and as of Wednesday, San Francisco.

Over the course of his career, the 27-year-old journeyman has tallied a total of 151 yards and one touchdown on 50 carries, according to Pro Football Reference. Cannon has also recorded 20 receptions for a total of 160 yards.

Cannon Second RB to Catch on With Niners This Week

Burks 2021 Bubble

GettyKerryon Johnson, of the Detroit Lions, runs for yardage against Oren Burks, of the Green Bay Packers, during the second half at Ford Field on October 7, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan.

The Niners have been busy looking at running backs this week, as they also added former Lions RB Kerryon Johnson to the practice squad Tuesday.

ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter that the move was also a response to the Mostert injury.

“And with RB Raheem Mostert announcing today that he is out for the season with a knee injury he sustained vs. Detroit, the 49ers are now signing former Lions’ RB Kerryon Johnson to their practice squad, per his agent @DrewJRosenhaus,” Schefter tweeted.

Johnson is a much more experienced and accomplished NFL running back than is Cannon, or any of the Niners’ currently healthy and rostered running backs, for that matter.

Detroit drafted the now 24-year-old Johnson in 2018, where he remained for three seasons. The running back appeared in 34 games, starting just shy of half of them (16). He carried the ball a total of 283 times during his tenure with the Lions, totaling 1,223 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. He also caught 61 passes for a total of 527 yards, finding the end zone 3 times.

Johnson and Cannon join a depth chart that already includes rookies Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon, as well as 25-year-old JaMycal Hasty.

Mitchell rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut against the Lions Sunday, while Hasty carried the ball 1 time for 3 yards and a goal line touchdown. He also caught 1 pass for 15 yards. Sermon was a healthy scratch, as the Niners dressed only three running backs, Mostert being the third.

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