SANTA CLARA, Calif. — With all the injuries the San Francisco 49ers have sustained at running back, it was only a matter of time for Jeff Wilson, Jr.
Wilson Jr., a former Elkhart High School standout, was promoted to the 49ers' main roster before the team's game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 24.
The 49ers showcased Wilson, Jr., during a 43-16 NFC West Division loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Wilson rushed 15 times for 61 yards, and he added eight receptions for 73 yards for the 49ers. His long reception went for 24 yards.
His 134 yards from scrimmage was the most for a 49ers rookie since the legendary Frank Gore had 136 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 2005 game.
“Given the circumstances, he ran hard,” said San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan. “I know it real unfortunate, with that fumble, which I still disagree with. He had a pretty bad injury in the game, so he had to come in at halftime. But, it was good to see him fight through it, and come out there in the second half and help us out.”
With the 49ers trailing 13-0 in the second quarter, San Francisco had first-down and 10 from the Seahawks' 14.
Wilson, Jr. ran to the Seattle 5 before Seahawks' linebacker Bobby Wagner stripped him and returned it 11 yards the other direction.
He also showed toughness five minutes later. Jeffery landed awkwardly at the end of a run from a screen pass. He limped off the field, and went into the locker room with 49ers' training staff.
After an X-ray checked out okay, as reported by Cam Inman with the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury-News, Wilson, Jr. returned to the field for the second half.
Sam Wells, who coached Wilson, Jr., at Elkhart and now serves as defensive coordinator at Troup, had plenty of nice things to say.
“It's unreal, and I am so proud of Jeffery,” Wells said. “What a great accomplishment and opportunity. He has done well the last two weeks, and he definitely belongs in the NFL. It just shows that no matter where you are from that you can accomplishment anything, if you are willing to work for it.”
In his professional debut on Nov. 25 at Tampa Bay, Wilson Jr. had 33 yards in carries and one catch for eight yards. His longest run versus the Buccaneers covered 18 yards.
After Elkhart, Wilson, Jr. played at the University of North Texas, and the 49ers signed him as an undrafted free agent this April.
He made the practice squad in early September, and then was promoted to the main roster.