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Christian McCaffrey on wearing Frank Gore’s #21 jersey: I’ve got too much respect for him

CMC likes how 23 looks

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

If the 49ers wait until the last minute, and Deebo Samuel can’t play Sunday against the Rams, we’re in for a big dosage of Christian McCaffrey. General manager John Lynch joined KNBR’s Murph and Mac Show, and McCaffrey was a topic in light of Samuel’s injury.

Lynch said acquiring McCaffrey was too good of an opportunity to pass up: “We felt like it was a good gamble. He is a game-changing player. I think it was remarkable that he went in and played as well as he did, coming here on Friday afternoon. We barely got him out to practice Friday, and there he is. I believe he played 22 snaps in the game and was highly productive.

And we think we’re just getting started. I think he’s going to be a tremendous fit. I think he already is with his teammates. He’s a pro’s pro, and he’s an extremely talented player, extremely versatile player, and he really fits with what we do. I think, ultimately, it was too good an opportunity to add a player of his caliber, and we took the shot.”

McCaffrey had 20 touches against the Rams as a Panther two weeks ago. You have to think he’ll be around that number again this Sunday.

Lynch continued and said McCaffrey’s acquisition says more about the belief in the Niners, despite their 3-4 record. He played the naysayers card but also believes San Francisco can play with and beat anyone.

That’s true, but the 49ers haven’t put that product on the field once this year. And when they ran into an elite team like Kansas City, the wheels fell off as the game went along.

Lastly, McCaffrey wasn’t close to wearing Frank Gore’s old number. The speculation about which number CMC would wear was fun while it lasted. No. 22 was taken by Jeff Wilson. Trey Lance wears No. 5. He landed on 23 without consideration of wearing 21. Here’s Lynch on the topic:

Frank Gore is not officially retired, but he did some pretty good things around here. And the owner is a big fan of Frank. On that one, Jed said, ‘hey, you can have Christian reach out to Frank and see if Frank would allow it.’ I told Christian that, and Christian said, ‘nah, I’ve got too much respect for him. I’ll just take 23. I think I like 23 anyhow.’”

Lynch said Gore and Deion Sanders wouldn’t have had an issue with McCaffrey wearing 21, but CMC wasn’t interested in going there, and Lynch appreciated Christian for that.