Trey Sermon had two fewer snaps than he did against Green Bay, but it was clear he was more comfortable and that Shanahan and his assistants trusted him more. Still, the team hasn’t had a true third-down back after JaMycal Hasty went down with a high ankle sprain in Week 2.
For the second straight game, Kyle Juszczyk was the running back of choice on third downs or when the 49ers were in a hurry-up mode. Or the 49ers had a running back split out wide with no one in the backfield in those situations. The last two games have been heavier in three-receiver formations (56 percent of plays) than the first two (32 percent) when the 49ers had their full (or at least fuller) complement of tailbacks.
Related players: Elijah Mitchell
With Mitchell out with a shoulder injury, Sermon ran 19 times for 89 yards on the day. Meanwhile it was Juszczyk who was targeted four times and had four catches for 41 yards. Sermon was targeted once on the day. There will be some workload and role questions in this backfield when Mitchell is able to play again.