The 49ers faced notable shortcomings in the first three weeks of 2021, and these five players are not proving to be helpful.
Three weeks into the 2021 season, the San Francisco 49ers have shown noticeable trends en route to their 2-1 record.
While the distress and the heartbreak Sunday night football the loss to the Green Bay Packers was a revelation, it is still far too early to panic completely. After all, there are plenty of other teams under 500 in the league who would happily swap places with the Niners right now.
Yes, there have been a lot of positives during these three weeks. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel led the passing game, and rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir showed some real promise despite a few bumps in Week 3. Mainstays like left tackle Trent Williams and EDGE Nick Bosa also made a difference.
At the same time, however, there have been a number of setbacks and disappointments this season, especially among those who were expected to have a substantial impact at the start of this season.
Here are five players who have fallen short of expectations so far.
# 5: 49ers Running Back Sermon Trey
For one, rookie running back Trey Sermon didn’t appreciate the context of having a top-level offensive line blocking the run this year. The O-line has done quite well when it comes to pass protection, but the opportunities for a dynamic dynamic attack have yet to materialize.
That said, Sermon was expected to be a potential running back right out of the gate, except he didn’t grab that chance even after San Francisco lost No.1 running back Raheem Mostert as a result of ‘a knee injury ending the season.
Sermon found himself buried behind fellow rushers JaMycal Hasty and fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell, only getting heightened stares when these two suffered injury setbacks as well.
In Week 3, Sermon only managed 31 yards on 10 carries. And while he recorded his first NFL touchdown in the bout, averaging 3.1 yards per attempt probably suggests that head coach Kyle Shanahan is more than keen to recover Hasty and Mitchell from their injuries.
Their return, coupled with the return of Jeff Wilson Jr. from the PUP roster, could easily push Sermon down the depth chart in the weeks to come.