Kyle Shanahan described the seriousness of 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell's knee injury.

The San Francisco 49ers lead the NFC West with a 7-4 record after Sunday's rout of the New Orleans Saints in Week 12. As satisfying as Sunday's victory was for 

head coach Kyle Shanahan and the team, there were some unfavorable developments as well. Sadly, a crucial player on the Niners offense suffered a serious injury

during the game. Running back Elijah Mitchell may have sprained his MCL, Shanahan reportedly told the reporters, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.

According to Shanahan, the injury is not as severe as the one Mitchell suffered in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, so it is at least not as bad as it could be.

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For background, Mitchell didn't play again after his initial injury until Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. While there is some hope in this diagnosis,

Mitchell's absence would be a significant blow to the 49ers offense.According to Pro Football Reference, the second-year running back contributed 963 rushing yards with five

touchdowns, as well as 19 receptions for 137 yards in the receiving game as a rookie in 2021. Running back Christian McCaffrey was hired by the 49ers in October after

being injured for a significant portion of the 2022 NFL season. Over the previous three weeks, the two had shown good chemistry in the backfield. As a result, the 49ers'

attack will be without that additional dimension for a spell.Kyle Shanahan will be preparing to face Mike McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins in Week 13 action on Sunday

with a modified game plan from the one that had been effective lately because Elijah Mitchell won't be in the lineup for a time.