It took almost no time at all for Elijah Mitchell to get hurt, and now we hear that third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price has a high ankle sprain. Another year, another war of attrition in the San Francisco backfield, which will perhaps give Jordan Mason a shot.

Jeff Wilson is the starter, but San Francisco likes to work in a No. 2. I suppose they'll promote Marlon Mack from the practice squad. But until I hear differently, Mason is the No. 2, and should get to show what he can do this week.

There's another undrafted rookie with a backup role these days, Jaylen Warren in Pittsburgh. He hasn't been a factor yet, but Najee Harris tends to take a beating, so eventually Warren may get his chance. As might Mason, who drew praise in August, making the team over last year's third-rounder Trey Sermon.

It's a position where undrafted guys have been known to make an impact. In the last five years alone, two undrafted rookies have rushed for over 1,000 yards, scored 10 TDs, and finished as top-15 fantasy backs (PPR). That includes James Robinson, who had the remarkable 2020 season for Jacksonville. Since 2000, 13 have at least ranked in the top 40 at the position.

2020James Robinson, Jac.1424010704.549344107
2001Dominic Rhodes, Ind.1523311044.7342241012
2018Phillip Lindsay, Den.1519210375.4352411013
2014Branden Oliver, S.D.141605823.636271426
2006Mike Bell, Den.151576774.320158831
2014Isaiah Crowell, Cle.161486074.1987833
2010LeGarrette Blount, T.B.1320110075.0514634
2007Selvin Young, Den.151407295.235231134
2015Thomas Rawls, Sea.131478305.7976537
2005Samkon Gado, G.B.81435824.11077737
2016Robert Kelley, Was.151687044.21282738
2010Keiland Williams, Was.15652614.039309539
2002Kenny Watson, Was.161165344.632253239
2016Jalen Richard, Oak.16834915.929194342
2017Austin Ekeler, LAC16472605.527279544
2017Matt Breida, S.F.161054654.421180347
2010Chris Ivory, N.O.121377165.2117547
2017Corey Clement, Phil.16743214.310123651
2012Shaun Draughn, K.C.16592334.024158255
2007Pierre Thomas, N.O.12522524.917151357
2019Patrick Laird, Mia.15621682.723204164
2013Fozzy Whittaker, 2TM1428792.821155267
2008BenJarvus Green-Ellis, N.E.9742753.7337567
2009Arian Foster, Hou.6542574.8893372
2013Benny Cunningham, St.L.14472615.6659174
2014Damien Williams, Mia.16361223.421187175
2012Brandon Bolden, N.E.10562744.9211278
2016Kenneth Farrow, S.D.13601923.21370081
2008Mike Tolbert, S.D.1313372.913171183
2016Peyton Barber, T.B.15552234.1528184
2016Josh Ferguson, Ind.1615201.320136086
2012Will Johnson, Pitt.16273.515137190
2017Tion Green, Det.5421653.9214291
2001Nick Goings, Car.13661973.0839091
2019Reggie Bonnafon, Car.16161167.3657194
2013Khiry Robinson, N.O.10542244.200194
2019Andrew Beck, Den.16133.0990196
2015Terron Ward, Atl.1329953.3973197
2007LeRon McClain, Balt.168182.3955199
2019Alec Ingold, Oak.1610171.76441100

Seems to be a better than average chance that some undrafted rookie running back will emerge as a starter at some point. Maybe that guy will be Mason.

--Andy Richardson