Tuesday's NFL: 49ers' Raheem Mostert to undergo season-ending surgery

Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee after getting injured in the season opener.

Coach Kyle Shanahan had said Mostert was expected to miss eight weeks because of chipped cartilage in his knee, but Mostert announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he will miss the rest of the season.

Mostert said he was “gutted” by the news, but after consulting with multiple doctors felt this was the best decision for his long-term future.

San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee after getting injured in the season opener.

“This gives me, without a doubt in my mind, the best possibility at coming back 110%,” he wrote. “I have ALWAYS come back stronger and I will this time too! … This is obviously not what I worked so hard for. I wish more than anything I could be out on the field with my brothers!!!”

The injury to Mostert is the second season-ending injury suffered by a key 49ers player already this year after the 2020 season was derailed by injuries. Cornerback Jason Verrett tore the ACL in his right knee in the season opener at Detroit.

After winning the NFC in 2019, the Niners went just 6-10 last year when they played long stretches without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, edge rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, tight end George Kittle, cornerback Richard Sherman and Mostert among others.

Mostert played only eight games last season because of ankle and knee injuries and lasted only four snaps this year. He had two carries for 20 yards on the opening drive of a 41-33 win at Detroit before getting hurt.

Sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell took advantage of the opportunity and rushed for 104 yards and a TD in his NFL debut. The 49ers also have Jamycal Hasty and third-rounder Trey Sermon, who was a healthy scratch for the opener.

The Niners are also signing former Lions running back Kerryon Johnson to the practice squad, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Johnson rushed for 1,225 yards in 34 games with the Lions.

Mostert is a former special teams standout who was cut seven times and carried the ball only eight times in his first three seasons in the NFL.

But he emerged as a star during the stretch run in 2019 when he led the team with 772 yards rushing in the regular season before a breakthrough game in the playoffs.

He rushed for 220 yards in the NFC championship game that season against Green Bay for the second-most yards rushing in a playoff game to Eric Dickerson’s 248 for the Rams on Jan. 4, 1986. Mostert was the first player to rush for at least four TDs and 200 yards in a playoff game.

For his career, Mostert has 1,610 yards rushing on 284 carries. His 5.77 yards per rush in the regular season and playoffs combined are the best for any running back in NFL history with at least 300 carries.

Saints outbreak

Six unidentified members of the Saints coaching staff, a player and a nutritionist have tested positive for COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity because the team and NFL had not made a public statement about the matter. The names of those who tested positive were not expected to be released in the short term because of federal medical privacy laws.

The people said the entire Saints coaching staff had been vaccinated.

It is unclear how long those who tested positive will remain isolated from the team before they may return to the field or in-person meetings.

For now, the entire team is operating under the NFL’s enhanced mitigation protocols, meaning mandatory masking inside facilities, daily testing, no in-person meetings and grab-and-go meals.

The positive tests occurred in the wake of New Orleans’ 38-3 victory over Green Bay on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida, where the game was moved from the Superdome in the wake of damage caused to southeast Louisiana by Hurricane Ida.

The Saints have spent the past two weeks practicing in the Dallas area and are scheduled to continue practicing at TCU this week before traveling to Carolina for their Week 2 game on Sunday. That game remains on track to go ahead as scheduled.

Extra points

The Bills joined the Raiders as the only NFL teams to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all fans over the age of 12.

The change comes after reports from fans about lax mask enforcement during the Bills’ opening game at Highmark Stadium Sept. 12.

Unvaccinated fans were allowed to attend, but were supposed to wear masks at all times under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many at the game said they saw very few face coverings at the packed stadium, including in restrooms and other indoor areas where even vaccinated fans were expected to wear a mask.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the policy shift was a joint decision between the county and Pegula Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Bills and Sabres.

… The Broncos placed Jerry Jeudy (high right ankle sprain) on injured reserve along with free agent acquisition Ronald Darby, who pulled a hamstring in Denver’s win over the Giants on Sunday.

… Raekwon Davis was placed on injured reserve by the Dolphins, meaning the defensive tackle will miss at least three games.