San Francisco 49ers RB Jeff Wilson Jr. suffered an ankle injury in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, which has left his status for today’s game up in the air. What is Wilson’s current status, and will he be expected to play in today’s NFC Championship matchup against the Rams?
Update 01/30/22: Jeff Wilson is officially inactive for the 49ers against the Rams.
Is Jeff Wilson Jr. playing today vs. the Rams?
After being limited in practice this week, Wilson is questionable to play today. He suffered a high-ankle sprain and is one of only two 49ers players on the injury report.
The other is offensive tackle Trent Williams. Williams has been magnificent for the 49ers this season and is a key component to the success of the offense. He is adamant he’ll play today, as mentioned by head coach Kyle Shanahan in a press conference this week, but that is yet to be confirmed by the team. Thus, both he and Wilson remain questionable so far on game day.
Wilson’s role in 2021
Wilson took some starting reps at running back with the Niners due to injuries on the roster. Official starter Raheem Mostert went down in Week 1 and was ruled out for the season with chipped cartilage in his knee.
The team then turned to rookies Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon, with sixth-rounder Mitchell winning the battle for starting reps and showing he could be the guy for the franchise going forward. With Mostert set to be a free agent and struggling to stay healthy, the 49ers are looking for their future starter.
Wilson came into the equation in Week 10. He took carries behind Mitchell for a couple of weeks, but really got his chance in Week 14. Mitchell was sidelined, and Wilson stepped into the RB1 role.
The following week, he showed what he could do, and delivered when the 49ers needed him to. Wilson had 110 yards on 21 carries and found the end zone once, too. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry that day against the Atlanta Falcons.
With Mitchell back in the lineup, Wilson’s role was reduced to a key special-teams contributor. He’s played the role before and was one of the 49ers’ key returners in the 2019 season.
Wilson returns punts and kicks, and the 49ers like what they have in him and the way he reacts to being called upon to step up and play any role asked of him. If he is unable to go today, expect the Niners to turn to third-round rookie Sermon for special-teams reps.