San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Friday afternoon that rookie running back Trey Sermon has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol. This would appear to clear the way for Sermon, a third-round pick for the 49ers in this year’s draft, to make his first NFL start on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.
Sermon made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 17-11 victory over Philadelphia. Sermon gained eight yards on the play before taking two vicious blows to the head which left him concussed.
The positive news on Sermon is important for a 49ers’ team that has seen each of the four running backs on their original 53-man roster have deal with injuries following the first two weeks of the season.
The 49ers have already lost Raheem Mostert for the season after only two carries against Detroit and JaMycal Hasty will be out for a while after suffering a high ankle sprain against Philadelphia.
Shanahan stated that Elijah Mitchell is doubtful to play on Sunday night, but that he is holding out hope that he can play. Mitchell’s availability will come down to how he feels on Sunday prior to the game.
If Mitchell is unable to go the 49ers will have Trenton Cannon and Jacques Patrick available as backups and may choose to pull either Kerryon Johnson or Chris Thompson up from the practice squad. Thompson was originally drafted by the Washington Football Team in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft so he is familiar with Shanahan’s offense.