The San Francisco 49ers will not have Christian McCaffrey when they wrap up the regular season with a Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday that the star running back will not play in the finale after he suffered a mild calf strain in the win over Washington on Sunday. The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious and Shanahan noted that it should not prevent him from playing in the playoffs.
“We’re real confident on that,” Shanahan said, via ESPN. “It was good news. I could have been a lot worse. We’re happy that they’ll take care of him this week and hopefully, he’ll start getting to go during our off week.”
McCaffery was injured in the third quarter of Sunday’s win. He finished his afternoon with 64 yards rushing on 14 carries on top of catching four of his five targets for 27 yards.
Given that the Niners have already secured the top seed in the conference, there’s no point in putting McCaffrey out on the field, especially if he is less than 100%. With him missing this week’s game along with San Francisco enjoying a first-round bye, McCaffrey will have effectively three weeks to rest up before he has to step onto the field for the divisional round, which sounds like ample time for him to be back to top strength.