49ers general manager John Lynch said, a couple of times, it’d be a “tall order” for Christian McCaffrey to suit up against the Chiefs Sunday. Lynch also confirmed that McCaffrey, who passed his physical Friday afternoon, is practicing after landing at the San Jose airport shortly after 10:30 AM.
Friday’s are lighter contact and primarily walkthrough practices. Still, you know the team can’t help but admire McCaffrey stepping onto the practice field so soon.
Lynch went on to say that the discussions to acquire McCaffrey immediately after the 49ers played the Panthers in Week 5, attempting to beat out the Rams: “I was trying to because I know their propensity to come in late and go big. I was trying to get it done before, but that wasn’t going to happen.”
Speaking of the Rams, Lynch was asked if a critical divisional game a week away played a factor in acquiring McCaffrey:
“That’s always an interesting question because I always say, ‘It’s about us,’... but I also know the fastest way to success is winning your division. Sure glad he’s here and not there.”
That’s Lynch all but admitting the Rams, whether playing them next week or CMC dawning their uniform, crossed his mind when it came to trading for McCaffrey.
The 49ers have exhausted their resources on running backs during the Shanahan tenure. They released Trey Sermon, a third-round pick from 2021 before the season started. We thought Ty Davis-Price would be the guy this season, but TDP suffered a high-ankle sprain, and outside of a 14-carry game against Seattle in Week 2, he hasn’t seen the field.
It’s evident that the Niners are high on Elijah Mitchell. When he’s healthy, he gets all of the touches. Some have speculated on whether acquiring McCaffrey meant Mitchell had a setback. Mitchell hasn’t played since the first half of Week 1. That’s not someone you want to plan your future around — especially after Mitchell was banged up all of last year.
Here’s Lynch on the importance of the running back position to the 49ers:
“We’ve taken our swings at them because we feel it’s really important to the way we play. We’re encouraged by some of the younger guys. We like our group. We like continuing to add to that dynamic.”
Deebo Samuel is a part of that dynamic. Lynch said he views McCaffrey and Deebo similarly and can’t wait to see what Shanahan draws up. Lynch speaks for all of us. Lynch believes McCaffrey gave the locker room a ‘jolt’ when he walked in.