The addition of Christian McCaffrey less than two weeks ago created a potential logjam in the 49ers backfield.
It appears they have made a trade to clear it up. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, San Francisco is sending running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to Miami.
In exchange for Wilson, the 49ers will receive a 2023 fifth-round draft pick from the Dolphins.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan turned a former undrafted free agent who is not under contract for next season into a future draft pick. In fact, the fifth round has been among the 49ers most productive under the current regime.
Christian McCaffrey has looked like an every-down back this season. Through the first eight weeks of the season, McCaffrey has averaged just under 19 touches per game.
In addition to McCaffrey, San Francisco expects to get Elijah Mitchell back next week. Mitchell was the team’s leading rusher as a rookie last season. He looked explosive against Chicago in week one before the injury and brings a physical element to the rushing attack.
Behind the top two are rookies Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason, along with veteran Tevin Coleman. Coleman is currently on the practice squad.
The two have shown promise at times; however, their game action has been limited to only 17 rushing attempts on 50 offensive snaps.
While the 49ers have a talented running back room, it has many injury questions.
Over the last two seasons, McCaffrey missed 23 games.
Elijah Mitchell isn’t far behind. The second-year back has missed more regular season games (13) than he has played (12).
The injury concerns don’t stop there.
After being inactive in week one, Ty Davis-Price made his 49ers debut against Seattle in week two. The rookie carried the ball 14 times for 33 yards and suffered a high ankle sprain which caused him to miss the next three games.
The 49ers lose a versatile piece from their backfield in moving on from Wilson. Wilson was often used in a quasi-fullback role when Deebo Samuel began playing running back last season, and he reprised that role on Sunday with McCaffrey. While Kyle Juszczyk can play all over the formation, he doesn’t bring the running threat the 49ers enjoyed with Wilson in that role.
Sending Wilson to Miami for a fifth-round pick is a no-brainer. Now the 49ers just need to hope their remaining running backs stay healthy.