Christian McCaffrey missed his second day of practice with a calf injury this week ahead of the 49ers’ NFC championship game vs. the Eagles.
The 49ers running back has been the source of a massive boost for San Francisco’s offense since he was traded, rushing 181 times for 900 times (4.97 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also has 60 catches for 503 receiving yards and five more scores, giving him a combined 1,403 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns in just 13 games.
San Francisco has not lost with McCaffrey as a starter.
But his availability for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia will be a massive storyline, especially against an Eagles defense that, despite ranking in the top five in sacks and interceptions, ranks 17th in the NFL in rushing defense (121.6 yards per game). McCaffrey, however, made it clear he has no intention of missing Sunday’s game:
Asked if there’s any chance in his mind he won’t play Sunday against the Eagles, #49ers RB Christian McCaffrey said, simply: “Zero.”
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) January 26, 2023
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McCaffrey was seen working out an issue with his calf in the final minutes of San Francisco’s divisional victory over the Cowboys, against whom he played 44 snaps (roughly 67 percent of the 49ers’ offensive plays). Coach Mike Shanahan on Wednesday told reporters that McCaffrey, alongside several other players — including Deebo Samuel and back Elijah Mitchell — would be out of practice.
“I expect them to, but there are no guarantees,” Shanahan said. “Especially it being the NFC championship game, I think there’s a better chance they will be ready since there is nothing guaranteed after this. Hopefully. We will keep our fingers crossed.”
Shanahan didn’t provide much of an update for McCaffrey’s availability vs. the Eagles on Thursday. But if the running back’s own answer to that question is any indication, he will suit up to play vs. the Eagles, calf injury or otherwise.