The San Francisco 49ers picked up another victory on Sunday afternoon, defeating the New Orleans Saints 13-0. While picking up their fourth consecutive win is certainly encouraging, the 49ers can’t help but feel like they lost coming out of that game.
That is because they suffered some more injuries along the way, again to the running back position. Throughout the afternoon it seemed odd that Christian McCaffery was sitting on the sidelines so much and now we know why.
According to NFL Rumors on Twitter, McCaffrey is dealing with some knee irritation. The team will monitor him throughout the week and he could have some practice reps limited, but with Elijah Mitchell also getting hurt, as he suffered another MCL injury, San Francisco will be dangerously thin in their backfield without McCaffrey.
There wasn’t much said about McCaffrey during the game, but it makes sense why his opportunities were scaled back. Rookie Jordan Mason was worked into the game plan more than we have seen in previous weeks since Mitchell had come back to create a strong duo with McCaffrey.
Against the Saints, McCaffrey had the lowest snap percentage of his tenure outside of his debut with the team when he had virtually zero practice time. But, even in that debut against the Kansas City Chiefs, McCaffrey was able to generate more rushing and receiving yards than he did against New Orleans.
With Mitchell facing another lengthy absence, as he is going to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, the 49ers are going to be very cautious with McCaffrey. It wouldn’t be surprising if he is limited all week and then shared the backfield with some combination of Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price and veteran Tevin Coleman.
San Francisco is heading into a monster matchup with the Miami Dolphins this weekend, but they need McCaffrey healthy for the postseason. If that means limiting his reps even in arguably the biggest matchup of the week, so be it.