News: 3 hours agoSermon (concussion) was a limited practice participant Wednesday, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.
Spin: Sermon came out of Week 2 with a concussion, but coach Kyle Shanahan noted Wednesday that the rookie third-round pick was "trending in a good direction" as he practiced in a blue non-contact jersey, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. The 49ers already have one running back out for the season -- Raheem Mostert (knee) -- and another dealing with a high-ankle sprain (JaMycal Hasty). Meanwhile, fellow rookie sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell is tending to a shoulder injury that Shanahan described as "worse than a stinger," according to David Lombardi of The Athletic. Sermon will need to pass all five phases of the protocol for head injuries to suit up Sunday night against the Packers, but with so many unknowns in San Francisco's backfield it's unclear how the RB work will break down. Trenton Cannon is the only other back on the 49ers' active roster, and Kerryon Johnson, Chris Thompson and Jacques Patrick are candidates to be elevated from the practice squad.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Sermon was selected by the 49ers in the third round of April's draft. The Ohio State standout is a big (6-foot, 215 pounds) and explosive runner who racked up 455 carries during three seasons at Oklahoma and one at OSU. Sermon sports a good elusiveness profile (top-10 in this class in both YAC and Forced Missed Tackle rate over the past three seasons), but lacks speed and his potential passing-game contributions are a question mark (he totaled 48 receptions and caught a weak 79% of his targets from 2018-20). Sermon has a shot to eventually emerge as the 49ers' lead back, but he'll first need to overtake Raheem Mostert. Sermon lacks standalone value in the short term, but he's a strong target for a bench stash considering Mostert's durability woes.