McCaffrey Injured, 49ers Clinch No. 1 NFC Seed in Win

McCaffrey Injured, 49ers Clinch No. 1 NFC Seed in Win

LANDOVER, Md. — Christian McCaffrey appeared to be out of playoff danger with a right calf strain, the injury that sidelined him late in the third quarter of the 49ers’ 27-10 win over the host Washington Commanders on Sunday. “Not sure what happened.

It was pretty minor,” McCaffrey said. “I was just struggling to just stay behind and as a precaution they said, ‘It’s better to just rest.’ McCaffrey will surely sit out the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Rams and then use the wild card to bounce back.

“He’s been moving well on the sideline, so we’re hoping it’s not too bad, but we won’t know until (Monday),” coach Kyle Shanahan said of McCaffrey’s likely MRI. In addition to leading the 49ers to the No. 1 NFC playoff berth (12-4), McCaffrey’s 1,459 yards would lead the 49ers to their first NFL championship since Joe “The Jet” Perry in 1954. McCaffrey has 315 rushing yards.

Rams player Kyren Williams. McCaffrey also has more than 2,000 yards from a starting position for the second time in his career (564 receptions). In 2019, he passed for 2,392 yards with Carolina (369 more than this year), including more than 1,000 in both rushing and receiving.



McCaffrey joined Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk as the only players to have back-to-back 2,000-plus-yard seasons with two different teams. On Sunday, McCaffrey exited in the third quarter after first using a therapeutic massage gun on his left leg and then exiting the same drive on his right calf.

He initially wanted to return, but running backs coach Bobby Turner sidelined him when Elijah Mitchell scored on a 2-yard run for a 20–10 lead. “We just made a smart move,” said McCaffrey, who had 64 passing yards (14 passing) and 27 receiving yards (four catches). – Especially since I didn’t know what was going to happen next week, I didn’t want to go there and make the situation worse.

“You can’t be stupid about certain things,” he said. When McCaffrey and the 49ers entered their locker room, they were surprised yet excited to see the Arizona Cardinals upset the Philadelphia Eagles, a loss that eliminated them from contention for the number 1 seed.

“It means the world, so shout out to the Cardinals, I appreciate you. It was huge, McCaffrey said. “We all need (vacations). I know I do. So I’m excited to just breathe and get back to normal.

” The 49ers are the first team in NFL history to have four 1,000-yard producers in running backs (McCaffrey) and two wide receivers (Brandon Aiyuk; 1,317 yards) Deebo Samuel; 1,085 yards) and tight end (George Kittle; 1,022 yards). After traveling to play five games in the Eastern Time Zone this season, McCaffrey is relieved to avoid any more long flights, adding, “It’s nothing.



It’s absolutely nothing.” Mitchell filled in admirably, rushing for 80 yards and his first touchdown since last season’s playoff opener. “That’s exactly what I expect from Elijah,” linebacker Kyle Juszczyk said. – I had two stable years while my friend was driving. I think he’s one of the best defenders in the league. He just has an MVP ahead of him.

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