49ers Rumors: Christian McCaffrey Expected to Play vs. Chiefs After Panthers Trade

Adam WellsOctober 23, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball in the first quarter during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

In addition to getting several injured players back, the San Francisco 49ers are going to have their new running back on the field Sunday.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Christian McCaffrey is expected to play against the Kansas City Chiefs after being acquired on Thursday.

Amid rumblings that the Carolina Panthers were going into sell mode after starting the season 1-5 and firing head coach Matt Rhule, McCaffrey was dealt to San Francisco for four draft picks.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was non-committal about McCaffrey's availability for this week's game because of the lack of time he would have to learn the team's playbook.

"I'm still up in the air whether we're going to be able to get him here for Sunday or not," Shanahan said Friday on KNBR's Murph & Mac show (h/t David Bonilla of 49ersWebZone.com). "I know for sure he'll be here the following Sunday. But that's kind of why I'm in a wait-and-see approach right now. ... This happened so fast, and we've just got to see where he's at."

ESPN's Adam Schefter noted the 49ers have put together a package of plays in their game plan specifically for McCaffrey.

San Francisco's rushing attack has been productive this season. Jeff Wilson Jr. leads the team with 400 rushing yards on 81 attempts. Deebo Samuel is second with 136 yards on the ground, but 105 of those came in the first two games.

McCaffrey is one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL. The 2019 Pro Bowler ranks fourth in the league with 118 touches and 670 yards from scrimmage in six games this season.

Along with having McCaffrey, the 49ers are also expected to get back injured starters Trent Williams, Nick Bosa, Mike McGlinchey and Jimmie Ward. Charvarius Ward and Talanoa Hufanga did practice on Friday, but both are officially listed as questionable.

Having McCaffrey available will certainly help the offense against a Chiefs team looking to rebound after last week's 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Injuries and erratic performances have contributed to San Francisco's 3-3 start to the season. The team enters Week 7 tied with the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks for first place in the NFC West.