49ers

Why Shanahan ruled out 49ers signing Bell in free agency

49ers

It doesn't sound like Le'Veon Bell will toll for the 49ers.

Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters in a video conference Wednesday -- a day after the New York Jets released Bell -- that he's happy with the 49ers' running backs.

"I'm good with all our guys," Shanahan said. "So, even if Raheem (Mostert) wasn't back, I don't think that would change much. I think we've got pretty good depth and I know we're going to get Tevin (Coleman) back soon, too, hopefully. Raheem played, I thought Raheem played great. I thought he was probably the best football player on the field on Sunday and wish we could have got the ball to him more, but you could tell he was ready to go.”

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Mostert sprained his knee in Week 2 against the New York Jets, returning last Sunday to rush for 90 yards on 11 carries and catch three passes for 29 yards. Coleman injured his knee in that same Jets game, and the 49ers placed him on injured reserve ahead of Week 3. The 49ers initially said they expected him to miss about a month, and their Week 7 game against the New England Patriots on Oct. 25 will mark four weeks since Coleman sustained the injury.

Behind Mostert and Coleman, the 49ers also have Jerick McKinnon (four total touchdowns this season), Jeff Wilson Jr. (who contributes on special teams) and undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty on the practice squad. Bell's skills and pedigree are intriguing, especially when imagining his versatility as a runner and pass-catcher in Shanahan's offense, but the 49ers are up against the salary cap and have needs far more pressing than in the backfield.

 
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Mostert was one of the 49ers' few bright spots against the Dolphins, and Coleman's forthcoming return should boost their struggling offense. McKinnon tied a season-low with just three offensive touches against Miami, but he has proven himself capable in his first NFL action in almost three years. 

That said, the 49ers face a daunting schedule beginning Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams visit Levi's Stadium. If the offense doesn't begin to turn things around and Bell remains on the market after the 49ers have lost three straight, perhaps Shanahan will change his tune.

For now, Bell and the 49ers don't seem like much of a match.