49ers

Mostert believes 49ers 'still special' despite 2020 struggles

49ers
49ers' Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson

Neither the 49ers nor running back Raheem Mostert had the 2020 season they expected.

The 49ers fell well short of Super Bowl-or-bust expectations with a 6-10 campaign, while Mostert played just eight games in an injury-shortened season after being the team's leading rusher in 2019. Still, Mostert tweeted Sunday after the 49ers' season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks that he was "proud" of his teammates.

Mostert was effective when he did play, rushing for 521 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and scoring two touchdowns on the ground. He also compiled 16 receptions for 156 yards and one TD, and his 677 yards from scrimmage this season were second on the 49ers only to rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Jeff Wilson Jr., the 49ers' leading rusher in 2020, and JaMycal Hasty, an undrafted rookie who impressed before sustaining a season-ending injury, figure to be the only running back holdovers alongside Mostert next season. Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon both can become unrestricted free agents, and neither player seized an opportunity amid extensive injuries at the position.

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In 2021, Mostert, 28, will be in the final season of a three-year contract extension that he re-worked last offseason. Wilson became the fourth different back to lead the 49ers in rushing in four seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan, and Mostert will need to prove he's indispensable at a position known for turnover under the coach.

 

But if the 49ers can be as special in 2021 as Mostert believes they are, he'll have to be an integral part of their success.