WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. — Raheem Mostert announcing that he would miss the remainder of the 2021 season on Tuesday via social media came as a surprise to 49ers fans, but not Kyle Shanahan.
After originally reporting to media that the 49ers' 2019 leading rusher would miss eight weeks due to chipped cartilage in his knee, the head coach spoke to the running back, and discussed all of the recovery options.
“The prognosis on Monday was what we had, six to eight,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “On further review, looking at other opinions, there's a longer surgery you can do that will put him out for the year and that's the way we're going to go.”
The 29-year old running back was a major contributor in the team’s journey to Super Bowl LIV, appearing in 16 regular-season games and racking up 137 carries for 772 yards and eight touchdowns.
Mostert capped off the 2019 season with a record-setting performance in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, carrying the ball 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
Shanahan and the 49ers staff were careful with Mostert throughout training camp after an injury-plagued 2020 season where he only registered 104 carries for 521 yards and two touchdowns over eight games.
The plan was to keep their starting running back fresh for the regular season, limiting Mostert throughout their three exhibition games. Mostert only recorded seven carries in 10 snaps during the club’s final preseason game with the Las Vegas Raiders.
“When I talked to him and I heard all the other stuff, it's not a surprise to me,” Shanahan said. “The first prognosis I got was what I told you guys, and that's all I got at the time. But once I heard more stuff after the press conference, it made sense. I don't think there was much of a decision to make after hearing some of the stuff.”
2021 is a contract year for the Purdue product, whose future with the team is now uncertain.