Jerick McKinnon didn’t play a regular football game of the season for the San Francisco 49ers. The last run to the finish makes sense January 21, 2018, in a knockout match as a member of Minnesota Vikings.
After signing in San Francisco, an ACL tear wiped out the 2018 campaign before it started, and the fallback of a knee injury left him on IR for the entire 2019 season.
Although McKinnon has been absent for the past two years, the 49ers teammates believe the race will return better than ever on his comeback.
“The jet looks extraordinary,”; wing-back Kyle Juszczyk told reporters during a video conference Tuesday, via 49ers Web Zone. “You will never guess, go out there, and see how he practices, how fluent he is, how he is unpredictable, how fast does he answer questions in the meeting, all of this stuff, you would never have guessed that this guy hasn’t been on the pitch for two years.
“He’s just making things look so natural, so smooth, 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 the 49ers’ backyard changes, including bringing Matt Breida to Miami, McKinnon could play a big role. The dual threat once in Minnesota matches well with Kyle Shanahan’s plans, which is why Niners launched a four-year, $ 30 million two-year contract to acquire McKinnon.
However, two years is a long time to miss. Without a full season or preseason for McKinnon to his feet, we’ll have to wait until Week 1 to see what he looks like. Until then, the bright reviews from the teammates brought an optimistic view.
McKinnon is expected to share backstage duties with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. It’s a pretty good trio for Niners to deploy, with each possessing a skill set to shoulder if needed. In Shanahan’s sultry backstage approach, McKinnon could fulfill a role if he is as fit as his teammates suggest – and if he stays healthy all year.