New 49ers Running Back's Status Uncertain for Week 7

The San Francisco 49ers executed a league-shaking trade late Thursday night, but it's unclear if they'll be able to reap the benefits this week. Head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed uncertainty on KNRB Friday morning regarding newly-acquired running back Christian McCaffrey's availability for the team's Week 7 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers traded a massive haul in exchange for McCaffrey, but given his health and his unfamiliarity with the system, getting him up to speed by Sunday may not be realistic. The running back missed 23 of a possible 33 games from 2020 to 2021, so the team may be wise not to gamble his future for short-term gain.

When he's ready, McCaffrey will join a 49ers team rife with talent at premium positions on offense. He'll be the team's fourth recent All-Pro after left tackle Trent Williams, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and tight end George Kittle. Given coach Shanahan's well-earned reputation as an offensive savant, McCaffrey could quickly see his star rise back to the upper echelons of the NFL's elite.

McCaffrey entered the league as the Carolina Panthers'  8th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He quickly emerged as one of the league's premier runners and receivers out of the backfield, totalling 2920 yards rushing while tallying another 2523 through the air across his first three seasons. 

It's that receiving component that makes McCaffrey such a unique and deadly weapon at his position. He became only the third running back in NFL history to top 1000 yards receiving in a season when he accomplished the feat in 2019, joining three-time Super Bowl champion Roger Craig and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.

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