Is Elijah Mitchell playing tonight vs. Packers?

Elijah Mitchell continues to deal with a nagging knee injury -- is he playing against the Green Bay Packers this weekend?

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell continues to deal with a nagging knee injury. He’s dealt with injuries throughout the majority of his rookie season, although he’s found plenty of success. He’s also taken on big workloads in recent weeks for San Francisco. Is Mitchell playing again this week against the Green Bay Packers, and what can fantasy football managers expect from him in this game?

Elijah Mitchell’s 2021 production

Mitchell enjoyed a surprisingly elite rookie season for San Francisco. He posted 1,059 yards and 6 touchdowns on 234 carries over 12 games. He also recorded 20 receptions for 126 yards and 1 touchdown on only 22 targets.

The rookie burst onto the scene in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. He generated 104 yards and 1 touchdown on 19 carries. After that, he’s seen a big role in the 49ers’ offense. He’s been given 17+ carries in 10 of his 12 games.

Additionally, Mitchell has taken on a massive role later in the season. He’s averaging 24.2 carries per game over his last six contests. He’s seen 21+ carries in each of those games as well.

Mitchell’s been less effective in recent games, but he’s still found plenty of success. He produced 96 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground against the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round. Ultimately, Mitchell’s seen a massive role for San Francisco this season, and he produced well in it.

Will Mitchell play vs. the Packers this week?

Mitchell’s been dealing with multiple injuries throughout the season. His most recent injury involved his knee, and he missed multiple weeks after a Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

He returned in Week 17, recording 72 touches over his last three games. He didn’t suffer any type of setback in any of those games, including a playoff matchup against the Dallas Cowboys last week.

The rookie RB recorded a limited practice to start the week before getting a pair of full practices in on Wednesday and Thursday. He isn’t currently listed on the injury report and will play this weekend.

How would his absence affect the 49ers’ offense?

If Mitchell were to miss this game, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty would take over as the top running backs.

Wilson would work as the early-down back in a larger role. He started several games this year, although he’s generally struggled with efficiency. With that said, Wilson flashed against the Atlanta Falcons, recording 110 yards and 1 touchdown on 21 carries.

Hasty’s seen a small role in 2021, but he could handle some of the passing-down work. One key aspect here could be if Green Bay would get out to an early lead. Based on their coaching, Wilson would likely continue to see his normal role, although they could give Hasty a few more snaps in that situation.

However, it won’t matter as Mitchell will play in this game, barring any setbacks.

Are fantasy points available vs. Green Bay?

The Packers have one of the more interesting defenses against running backs. They’re only allowing 14.9 fantasy points per game to the position, which ranks 28th in the NFL.

Green Bay allows the second-highest yards per carry (4.7) in the NFL this season. Nevertheless, they’re forcing opponents to throw the ball, as opponents are only running 38.1% of their time against them. The Packers also aren’t allowing running backs to score touchdowns against them.

The 49ers will likely stick with the run more than most teams against Green Bay, but there is quite a bit of risk involved with using Mitchell. He’s a high-upside player, but if the Packers get out to an early lead, he could be scripted out of the game.

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