Jerick McKinnon has not played a regular season football for the San Francisco 49ers. The last time the run took a significant run was January 21, 2018, in a play-off game as a member of the Minnesota Viking.
Following the signing in San Francisco, an ACL tear wiped out the 2018 campaign before it started, and a recurrence of the knee injury put him in IR for the entire 2019 season.
Despite McKinnon missing the past two years, 49ers teammates believe the comeback looks better than ever on his return.
“The jet has looked phenomenal,”; Kyle Juszczyk told reporters in a video conference on Tuesday, via the 49ers Zone Web. “You just would not guess, go out there and look at the way he practices, how calm he is, how he does not guess himself, how quickly he answers questions in meetings, all those kinds of things, you you will never guess that this guy has not been on the field for two years.
“He just makes things look so natural, so calm, that I think there can only be positive things for him this year. I think he’s going to have a really good year.”
With changes to the 49ers backfield, which included Matt Breida’s trade to Miami, McKinnon could play a big role. A double threat in Minnesota fits in well with Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, which is why the Niners signed a four-year, $ 30 million deal to get McKinnon two years ago.
Two years is a long time to lose, however. Without a full offseason or a preseason for McKinnon to wet his feet, we’ll have to wait until Week 1 to see what he looks like. Until then, the rave reviews from teammates provide an optimistic picture.
McKinnon is expected to share background tasks with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. It’s a good enough trio for the Niners to put on, with anyone possessing the ability to carry the load if necessary. In Shanahan hot-handed approach to the backfield, McKinnon can show a role if he is as healthy as his teammates suggest – and if he stays healthy for the whole year.