49ers' Christian McCaffrey Day-to-Day With Calf Injury; Expected to Play vs. Eagles

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2023

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 24: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball against the Washington Commanders during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey is considered day-to-day with a calf contusion, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said he expects the running back to play Sunday, per David Lombardi of The Athletic.

The 49ers are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game after earning a 19-12 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. McCaffrey tallied 55 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the victory, although he played sparingly in the fourth quarter.

Elijah Mitchell led the team with 14 carries for 51 yards and could see a bigger role if McCaffrey is limited.

McCaffrey has avoided major injuries so far this season, although he has dealt with several smaller issues along the way. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said the running back suffered a mild ankle sprain during his team's Week 17 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, although he didn't know when it happened.

"I don't think he really felt it or complained about until after the game and I never saw it on any of the tape," Shanahan said of McCaffrey.

The Pro Bowler also dealt with a knee injury in December that caused him to miss some practices.

McCaffrey was still able to suit up for each game this year, which was a positive change after playing just 10 total games over the past two seasons.

The 26-year-old was productive in his first six games with the Carolina Panthers, totaling 670 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He has been even better since his midseason trade to the 49ers, adding 1,210 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in 11 regular-season games.

His versatility as a runner and receiver fits perfectly in the 49ers' attack, helping the offense thrive despite getting down to third-string quarterback Brock Purdy. McCaffrey will now look to help the team move one step closer to a Super Bowl title.