49ers OC: Sermon showing 'extra focus, aggressiveness' after benching
The third-round draft choice was a surprise healthy inactive for the 49ers' season opener against the Detroit Lions, and when starter Raheem Mostert went down with an injury, San Francisco turned to sixth-round selection Elijah Mitchell.
That decision appears to have had the desired effect on Sermon.
"I didn't talk to him about it, but I can tell you that the best way I know how he felt is by how he practiced this week," 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "There was a deliberate intent and an extra focus to him, an extra aggressiveness that I think his teammates felt. So what that told me is, 'Hey, I didn't like not dressing. I want to play football. So how do I do that? I don't go and talk to people. I show people.'"
Mostert is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Sermon will get the chance to try to wrest the job from Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty when the Niners visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
"That's kind of the common denominator. (Head coach Kyle Shanahan) always says to the players and coaches, 'Don't tell me, show me.' And he showed I think all of us that he really wants an opportunity, which he'll get this Sunday," McDaniel said.