The 49ers are signing running back Kerryon Johnson to their practice squad, Johnson's agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
This signing comes after Raheem Mostert announced Tuesday via social media that he would undergo season-ending knee surgery. The running back originally was projected to miss eight weeks after a portion of his knee cartilage was “chipped off” in the team’s season-opening win over the Detroit Lions.
The remaining running backs on the roster are rookies Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon and sophomore ball carrier JaMycal Hasty. Jeff Wilson, who suffered a meniscus injury during OTAs is on the PUP list and not scheduled to return until after Week 6.
Johnson will add experienced depth to the group having spent three seasons with the Lions after being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The 24-year old running back was most recently with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to being waived in late August.
While there is a possibility that coach Kyle Shanahan could elevate Johnson by Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, that is not what the head coach tends to do. The 49ers had the opportunity for cornerback Josh Norman to play in Week 1, but he was one of five inactives on game day due to limited practice time after signing on Sept. 6.
Johnson had a promising rookie season carrying the ball 188 times for 641 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He also caught 32 of his 39 targets for 213 yards and one receiving touchdown. His 5.4 yards per carry average however dropped the following two seasons to 3.6 in 2019 and 3.5 in 2020.
The Eagles waived Johnson on an injury settlement in August after he suffered a knee injury in the preseason. However, he currently is healthy having recently worked out for the Las Vegas Raiders in early September.