49ers pregame: Elijah Mitchell out at Jaguars, opening door for Jeff Wilson Jr. and Trey Sermon

The 49ers’ rushing leader is out, and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ is in for this morning’s 10 a.m. matchup at TIAA Bank Field.

Elijah Mitchell’s finger surgery five days ago made it unlikely that the 49ers’ rookie would suit up today, and that indeed is the case.

James Robinson, the Jaguars’ leading rusher, will play, Schefter reported. Robinson entered as questionable because of knee and heel injuries.

Expected to replace Mitchell in the lineup is Jeff Wilson Jr., who’d be making his first start of the season and second appearance since returning from May knee surgery. Rookie Trey Sermon figures to back up Wilson for his first potential carries in five games.

Sermon started the 49ers’ Weeks 3 and 4 losses to Green Bay and Seattle while Mitchell was out with a shoulder injury. Sermon’s had only two other carries this season aside from those starts.

Mitchell played through his second-quarter finger injury Monday night and finished with 27 of the 49ers’ 44 carries in a 31-10 upset of the Los Angeles Rams. How the 49ers replicate that rushing dominance is one of the keys to this game.

Robinson’s heel injury kept him out of Jacksonville’s win two weeks ago, a home upset of the Buffalo Bills. Robinson is averaging 5.39 yards per carry (100 carries, six touchdowns).

SAFETY OPTIONS

Jaquiski Tartt’s activation Saturday off injured reserve presents an interesting dynamic in the secondary. Rookie Talanoa Hufanga played so well in Tartt’s place last game — not so much against Arizona the week before — that the 49ers have said they want to deploy both of them along with starting free safety Jimmie Ward.

Ward is coming off his most productive outing in his eight-year career, with two interceptions on Monday’s opening two series against the Rams. His ability to play man coverage on third downs might entice the 49ers to bring him closer to the line of scrimmage and keep Tartt deep with Hufanga roaming as a potential play maker.

WHY NO GREENLAW

The 49ers did not activate linebacker Dre Greenlaw despite him resuming practice this past week. Why not? Two reasons spring to mind. One, Greenlaw has had only three practices on his surgically repaired adductor (groin), after the 49ers already had twice delayed opening that practice window out of precaution. Two, Azeez Al-Shaair played arguably his best game Monday night in place of Greenlaw at weak-side linebacker, never mind that it came after arguably Al-Shaair’s worst game the previous week against Arizona.

Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said Thursday of Greenlaw, without signaling an immediate return to the lineup. “It’s good to just see him back around. Good to see him in meetings. Good to see him just back. And I’m hoping that he keeps progressing and going in the right direction.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier last week that neither Greenlaw nor Tartt would automatically return to the starting lineup.

LYNCH’S ITINERARY

General manager John Lynch is making the most out of an extended trip to Florida. Monday night, he will be presented his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring during halftime of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home game against the New York Giants. Lynch was enshrined into the Hall of Fame this summer, and his playing days as a safety have him in both the Buccaneers’ and Denver Broncos’ rings of honor.

Lynch attended Saturday’s Alabama home game against Arkansas to scout prospects for the upcoming drafts. Joining Lynch on the sidelines were Adam Peters, the 49ers’ assistant general manager, and Keena Turner, a vice president and senior advisor to Lynch.

TROUBLE WITH TREVOR?

Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick, has sparked “strong debate” within the organization on how to better develop him, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported.

“Things came to a head last week, with Lawrence overwhelmed by the Colts, with Indianapolis’s zone-heavy scheme exposing difficulties that have existed in their offense all season,” La Canfora wrote. “There has been back-and-forth on the staff about how much to rely on the system Lawrence ran during his wildly successful stint at Clemson, with some raising significant concerns about the injury risks that could come with it, sources said.”

Lawrence is completing 58 percent of his passes (eight touchdowns, nine interceptions. He was just 3-of-14 for 36 yards in last Sunday’s first half of an eventual loss at Indianapolis.

OTHERS OUT

The 49ers also ruled out defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (calf), running back JaMycal Hasty (ankle) and offensive lineman Colton McKivitz.

It’s worth noting that Mitchell is the only 49ers’ rookie draft pick not suiting up today, meaning that guard Aaron Banks and cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas might see rare snaps.

Out for the Jaguars: Linebacker Dakota Allen (shoulder), running back Devine Ozigbo, cornerback Tre Herdon, tight end Jacob Hollister and linebacker Jordan Smith.

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