49ers lose RB Elijah Mitchell (knee), sign CB Janoris Jenkins to practice squad

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell will miss six to eight weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Monday.

Mitchell was injured during Sunday’s 13-0 victory over the New Orleans Saints. It is Mitchell’s second knee injury of the season.

“He’s pretty disappointed. Everyone knows how good Elijah’s been, how hard he’s worked to get back from his last one and how good he’s been playing since he came back,” Shanahan said during a conference call with reporters. “To be right back there, I know he was real down on it. He’s had some real bad luck. He got rolled up on and it was a bad position for him to be in.”

Mitchell sprained his right MCL in Week 1 and missed the following seven games before returning in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He has 224 yards on 40 carries in four games and sports a healthy 5.6 average.

Mitchell had 963 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games (10 starts) as a rookie last season.

Also, running back Christian McCaffrey, who was acquired while Mitchell was injured, came out of the New Orleans game with knee irritation and will be watched closely this week.

The 49ers also announced that they have signed veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the practice squad.

Jenkins, 34, has played in 142 NFL regular-season games (138 starts). He has intercepted 27 passes, returning eight of them for touchdowns, and been credited with 124 passes defensed. Now that he is on a roster, he is the NFL’s active leader in pick-sixes.

Jenkins also has returned a fumble for a touchdown while racking up 575 tackles, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Last season, Jenkins had 54 tackles and one interception in 14 games (13 starts) for the Tennessee Titans. He was released in March.

Jenkins also had played for the then-St. Louis Rams (2012-15), New York Giants (2016-19) and New Orleans Saints (2019-20). He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 for the Giants.