Lynch Affirms That McKinnon is Part of 49ers' 2019 Plans

The 49ers added free-agent running back Tevin Coleman recently, but that doesn’t mean they’re moving away from Jerick McKinnon.

McKinnon, who missed all of 2018 because of an injury, has been working hard this offseason to come back from torn knee ligaments. But when the 49ers signed Coleman, some speculated McKinnon might not be in the Niners’ plans anymore.

Yet 49ers general manager John Lynch says the team is very much counting on McKinnon to be a member of a running back corps that could be four deep, along with Coleman, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert.

“Jerick is gong to be a part of us,” Lynch said this week at the NFL’s owners meetings in Phoenix, reported Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. “Jerick is working incredibly hard. It was an unfortunate blow that happened to him, but you never like to see that and this year, last year, we were extremely excited that we had him, but he’s always had kind of a chip on his shoulder because that was his first opportunity to be the (No. 1) guy and I’m sure he’ll have a bigger chip on his shoulder.”

After April 1, if McKinnon remains on the 49ers roster, his 2019 salary of $3.7 million is guaranteed.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said the same thing as Lynch recently, when he stressed he loves McKinnon’s skill set and believes the foursome of McKinnon, Coleman, Breida and Mostert can be effective in the coming season.

“There’s a lot of guys we have confidence in and a lot of guys with some skill sets we can use differently,” Shanahan said.

Over the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Vikings, McKinnon rushed for 1,109 yards and caught 94 passes for 676 yards.


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