BOARDMAN, Ohio -- 49ers running back Tevin Coleman sustained a high left ankle sprain and is expected to miss multiple weeks, beginning Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Pretty sure he won’t be around this week, and we’ll take it week-to-week after that,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in a conference call from Boardman, Ohio, where the team is staying to prepare for its Week 2 game.
Coleman injured his ankle on the first play of the game Sunday, but continued to play until it worsened to the point he could not continue. He started and played 19 snaps for the 49ers in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before exiting with the ankle injury.
Coleman gained 23 yards on six rushing attempts and added two receptions for 31 yards.
Shanahan said he did not believe the 49ers would place Coleman on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least eight games.
Matt Breida, who gained 814 yards rushing last season, becomes the team’s top back. He gained 37 yards on 15 carries Sunday. Raheem Mostert had a team-best 40 yards on nine rushing attempts. Mostert had a 15-yard touchdown run nullified by a penalty.
Kyle Shanahan is very confident in Raheem Mostert stepping in at running back and has been. Feels he is a good pass catcher as well.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) September 9, 2019
Running back Jeff Wilson, who was among the 49ers’ final cuts, could receive a promotion from the 49ers’ practice squad. Last season, Wilson saw action in six games with two starts. He rushed for 266 yards on 66 carries, averaging 4.0 yards per carry.
Shanahan said the club will most likely add a running back to suit up against the Bengals.
“But we’ll see how the week goes, and how many we’re going to need on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “There were plenty of times in Atlanta, I think we played all but two or three with only two running backs. Sometimes that’s a risk you take in the games. It depends how the rest of our roster is and what gives us the best chance by Saturday.”
The blow is another big one to a position at which the 49ers figured to have ample depth. However, Jerick McKinnon was placed on season-ending injured reserve after requiring another procedure on his surgically repaired right knee. McKinnon missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL and cartilage damage.
Coleman signed a two-year,$8.5 million contract with the 49ers this offseason after playing his first four NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Coleman gained a career-best 800 yards rushing and caught 32 passes for 276 yards last season.