Christian McCaffrey Has Ankle Injury Diagnosed as Sprain, per 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 01: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey is dealing with an ankle injury.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Monday the two-time All-Pro is day-to-day with a mild ankle sprain.

Shanahan also announced starting left guard Aaron Banks will sit out the regular-season finale after injuring his knee and ankle against the Las Vegas Raiders. He left Sunday's game in the second quarter and was replaced by Daniel Brunskill.

Brunskill will likely start on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, with Banks set to be re-evaluated next week to determine his status for the start of the playoffs.

It's unclear exactly when McCaffrey suffered the injury, though you wouldn't have been able to tell anything was wrong based on his performance in Week 17. He ran for a season-high 121 yards and caught six passes for 72 yards in the 49ers' 37-34 overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

McCaffrey was limited to 10 games across the 2020 and 2021 seasons, however, he has yet to miss a game this season.

Since joining the 49ers in a midseason trade with the Carolina Panthers, McCaffrey has been an invaluable part of Shanahan's offense. He leads the team with 1,131 yards from scrimmage and is tied for the team lead with nine total touchdowns, despite not being on the roster until Week 7.

Shanahan could be facing a difficult decision with McCaffrey ahead of Sunday's game. If the 49ers beat the Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles lose, San Francisco clinches the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and a first-round bye.