During his team’s Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman went down with a left ankle injury, leaving his status for the team’s coming games questionable. While the exact nature of Coleman’s injury remains unclear, he is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, which has head coach Kyle Shanahan “concerned” about the status of his team’s starting running back going forward. But should the 49ers take a chance on disgruntled Los Angeles Chargers star Melvin Gordon if the opportunity presents itself?
In a report published Sunday, Brian Witt of NBC Sports Bay Area analyzed the pros and cons of trading for Gordon, who is reportedly expected to end his contract holdout at some point between Week 6 and Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season, as previously noted by The Inquisitr. As Witt pointed out, Gordon has accumulated impressive stats since he was picked in the first round by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL Draft, but may not be a good fit for the 49ers regardless of how long Coleman has to sit out due to his ankle injury.
According to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Witt, the 49ers currently have the third-highest total running back salary in the entire NFL, with Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jerick McKinnon collectively making close to $12 million, or over 5.1 percent of San Francisco’s salary cap. Also mentioned was fullback Kyle Juszcyzyk, who is earning close to $6 million this season as the 49ers’ lead blocker in the backfield. All told, this could potentially prevent San Francisco from offering Gordon the lucrative contract he is seeking.
Tevin Coleman has “almost invariably” been #49ers first-team back in terms of camp reps per esteemed Niners reporter @mattbarrows, who projects a 50/40 split favoring Coleman over Matt Breida. Other 10 to Raheem Mostert:https://t.co/Xn2rWgZHgX— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 3, 2019
Even with Coleman currently hurt and McKinnon expected to miss a second straight season due to injury, Witt believes that the San Francisco 49ers are simply too deep for someone like Melvin Gordon, which he noted is the main reason why trading for him wouldn’t be a good idea. The NBC Sports Bay Area writer said that the 49ers are still deeper at running back than at any other position, as practice squad RB Jeff Wilson “looked great” in the preseason and could easily be promoted as a temporary replacement for Coleman.
“If Coleman is forced to miss an extended period, it is far more likely San Francisco looks to a cheap, internal solution like Wilson than an expensive diva currently putting his own priorities in front of his team’s,” Witt wrote.
Meanwhile, the Chargers didn’t seem to miss Gordon too much during their season opener on Sunday, as Austin Ekeler rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns — including the game-winning score — to help the Chargers edge the Indianapolis Colts in overtime, 30-24, as reported by The Los Angeles Times.