Jerick McKinnon has been with the 49ers since 2018, without a regular-season stat to show for it. A devastating knee injury and a significant setback requiring a second surgery created this difficult set of circumstances for a prized free-agent signing who fell on hard times.
He’s on the mend again, and seems poised to come back strong. We’ve seen positive signs in workouts posted on social media, and more positive signs from fellow 49ers running back Raheem Mostert on Wednesday afternoon.
They have kept in touch during McKinnon’s rehab, and Mostert is ready to see what McKinnon can do working in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme.
“I’m definitely excited,” Mostert said. “I have been keeping up with him even last year and helping him out throughout the season and giving him pointers here and there. He has always been one to learn. That’s what I appreciate about him, especially coming into this offense. He’s definitely more so the pass catcher but he’s always trying to elevate his game.”
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McKinnon was the dual-threat running back Shanahan hand-picked back in the 2018 offseason and secured with a huge contract. That deal has been re-done after two years spent on injured reserve, but optimism remains high that McKinnon can find old form and thrive within the system.
“He’s going a great job with his workouts,” Mostert said. “We always talk about it, and he’s helping me, too, understanding more of the playbook. He has had more time understanding it than I have route running-wise. I’m trying to pick his brain and he’s trying to pick my brain with the run scheme.
“We’re doing a great job right now. I can’t wait for him to show what everyone has been doubting him on and missing out. I’m excited, man. It’s going to be a surprise for everyone.”
Mostert, McKinnon and Tevin Coleman have somewhat varied skillsets and should form a potent, dynamic rushing attack that will help the entire offense thrive.