49ers' backfield takes another hit with Williams injury


The San Francisco 49ers' backfield took yet another hit Sunday as running back Joe Williams will be out of action until at least Week 1 with a rib fracture, per 49ers.com's Joe Fann.

Williams' injury comes just two days after 49ers general manager John Lynch announced that presumed starter Jerick McKinnon will be shut down for the remainder of the preseason with a calf strain. He'll be questionable for the team's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

Second-year rusher Matt Breida is also on the mend after sustaining a shoulder injury in San Francisco's preseason opener.

The trio of injuries leaves a clouded backfield situation in head coach Kyle Shanahan's high-octane offense. Williams was expected to compete for snaps with McKinnon and Breida. Raheem Mostert, Jeremy McNichols, and newly-signed Alfred Morris will see the majority of carries during the 49ers' final two preseason contests.

Williams was a fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Lynch removed him from his draft board due to concerns over his level of commitment - Williams briefly retired from football in college - but Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner insisted they take a chance on the ball carrier.

Williams missed his rookie season after suffering an ankle injury last September.

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