Raheem Mostert has been the least-recognized running back on the 49ers’ 90-man roster this summer.
From the beginning of training camp, all the talk has been about starter Carlos Hyde, rookies Joe Williams and Matt Breida, and the bids of two veterans, Tim Hightower and Kapri Bibbs, to land roster spots.
Sitting in front of his locker late Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Mostert was clearly having a good time with the attention he earned in the nationally televised game.
“Hi, my name’s Raheem,” he said.
Mostert entered the NFL in 2015. He signed with the Philadephia Eagles as an undrafted rookie. He has also spent time with Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, the New York Jets and Chicago Bears.
The 49ers originally signed him to their practice squad in November. He was promoted to the active roster for the final game of the season.
The Minnesota Vikings found out all about Mostert on Sunday night. Mostert took a short pass from C.J. Beathard on a third-and-22 play and weaved his way down the field for an 87-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
He added a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Mostert caught two passes for 104 yards and carried four times for 26 yards.
Mostert grabbed the attention of the coaching staff during the summer with his play on special teams. Mostert is one of the fastest players on the team with 4.38 speed. He won the 60- and 200-meter dashes at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. He also played four seasons of football at Purdue.
His speed makes him a valuable commodity on special teams. Mostert is currently working with the first team on kickoffs, kickoff return and punt coverage.
“It’s a big part of my game,” Mostert said. “I want to go out there and change the field position and showcase what I can do. I make tackles. I can return kicks and block. I want to go out there and give it my all.”
Mostert got his chance on offense on Sunday because final cuts are nearing and the 49ers wanted to give him a chance to prove he can contribute in other ways. He certainly appeared to pass the test in most impressive fashion.
“If you can play special teams for us and you do a good job on offense or defense, it gives you a very good chance,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He’s done a good job on special teams, so I wanted to give him a little more playing time, see what he could do on offense. And, from what I saw out there, he did a real good job.”