San Francisco 49ers Running Back Dealing With "Knee Irritation"

The San Francisco 49ers backfield is beginning to look awful banged up. Head coach Kyle Shanahan shared at his Monday press conference that recently acquired running back Christian McCaffrey is day to day with what is being described as "knee irritation."

McCaffrey played his typical allotment of snaps for the 49ers in their Week 12 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints, so his injury probably won't cost him much playing time. It may, however, delay him from taking on a larger role on his new team.

Word of McCaffrey's issue follows an injury to backfield mate Elijah Mitchell, who is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Mitchell had maintained a significant role in the 49ers offense despite the 49ers' investment in McCaffrey, totalling 34 rushes for 183 yards and three receptions for seven yards over the past three weeks. McCaffrey's "irritation" will likely keep him from absorbing those lost touches.

McCaffrey joined the 49ers earlier this season via a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers gave up second-round, third-round, and fourth-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft as well as a 2024 fifth-round pick for the 2019 All-Pro under the assumption his unique skillset as a runner and receiver out of the backfield could lift their offense to another level. He has been an efficient if not prolific player for the team so far, rushing for 241 yards at 4.16 yards per attempt and nabbing 25 receptions for 202 yards at 6.73 yards per target in five appearances with the team.

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