The San Francisco 49ers' already crowded backfield could get even more muddled on "Monday Night Football" (MNF), with Tevin Coleman potentially making his return to the field after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 1. The 49ers will host the Cleveland Browns for Week 5's MNF matchup.
In Coleman's absence, the 49ers have employed a three-man committee consisting of Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. All have somehow been productive in fantasy, with Breida and Mostert logging a majority of the carries and passing game work, while Wilson vultured four touchdowns combined in Weeks 2 and 3.
Wilson is the one most likely to be left out upon Coleman's return, with one report suggesting he could even be inactive as the team's fourth-string running back. That leaves Coleman, Breida and Mostert as San Francisco's three-headed monster going forward.
With a solid matchup against the Browns, who are allowing 4.6 yards per carry this season, it will be interesting to see how San Francisco employs its backfield on MNF and going forward. While Coleman may be eased in during his return game, he operated as the team's lead back before getting injured in Week 1, after signing a two-year, $10 million contract to join San Francisco in the offseason.
Breida will certainly have a role, but it's clear the 49ers like to limit his workload due the multiple injuries he's sustained during his brief NFL career. Mostert's gig going forward is the hardest to project, as he was only used in Week 1 following Coleman's injury. He has clearly earned more work going forward, and could get 5-10 touches against the Browns depending on Coleman's usage.
Breida may be the safest bet for production on MNF, but Coleman's return makes its very hard to determine how the San Fran backfield will unfold going forward. Coleman should have the most rest-of-season upside, especially if he gets goal line duties, to go with the early down carries and passing work he should also receive.
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