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Jeff Wilson emerged as 49ers starter in Raheem Mostert’s absence, then injured ankle

The 49ers backfield was a mystery heading into Week 7. We have some early answers.

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hands the ball off to Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 during their NFL game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Post-game update: The 49ers believe Wilson suffered a high ankle sprain, per Kyle Shanahan.

4th quarter update: Wilson as been downgraded to OUT due to the ankle injury.

3rd quarter update: Wilson scored his third touchdown of the game in the third quarter and then had a defender roll up his left foot. Wilson limped off the field and then took a cart from the sideline to the locker room.

Late 2nd quarter update: JaMycal Hasty finally got some work in the second quarter and impressed. He had a 16-yard catch-and-run, and followed with a 20-yard rush. Wilson is the starter, but Hasty could develop a solid complementary role. It’s worth noting, Wilson added a 16-yard touchdown after Hasty’s big plays. Wilson has 92 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and the eight receiving yards.

The San Francisco 49ers placed running back Raheem Mostert on injured reserve, and they appear to have a clear choice to replace him. Jeff Wilson Jr. returned to action after missing Week 6 with an injury and Kyle Shanahan is feeding him. Midway through the second quarter, Wilson is getting all the work among the 49ers trio of tailbacks and is playing great football. He has 12 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown, and also has caught two targets for eight yards.

Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty were both expected to compete for an opportunity with Mostert sidelined, but it’s been all Wilson. McKinnon and Hasty have no touches, and we’ll keep an eye out for a snap count for all three running backs.

The 49ers travel to face the Seahawks next week. Seattle ranks ninth in run defense and tenth in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Shanahan’s running back preference can change in a hurry, but Wilson is looking like the hot hand for the time being.