49ers' Jerick McKinnon on ACL Injury: 'I Don't Feel Like I Rushed Back'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2018

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 9: Jerick McKinnon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi Stadium on August 9, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 24-21. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon will miss the season with a torn ACL, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, and he opened up about the injury and his inability to play in the opener against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

Jerick McKinnon spoke to the media today about his injury + Matt Breida and Alfred Morris discuss their roles heading into Week 1. https://t.co/sVUXMslGt6

"I don't feel like I rushed back," he said, per NFL.com's Austin Knoblauch. "That was the plan ... that's what we went with. I felt good at practice. It just so happened, I made a cut and I tore my ACL."

He also admitted he was looking forward to the showdown with the Vikings, saying, "This game probably meant a lot to me than maybe anybody else, just going against my former team and stuff like that."

San Francisco signed McKinnon this offseason and gave him the chance to compete as a featured running back after Carlos Hyde departed to join the Cleveland Browns. McKinnon split time with Adrian Peterson and others during his time on the Vikings and figured to have the opportunity to shine in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

He was working his way back from a calf injury, which is why he insisted he didn't rush things prior to the regular season.

He thanked those who wished him well following the setback:

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Jerick Mckinnon @JetMckinnon1

I just want to thank everybody for the encouraging messages , calls, love and support. Im so grateful to have so many loving people in my life . This is a blessing in disguise I will be back stronger than ever in 2019!!!

McKinnon tallied a career-best 570 rushing yards and 421 receiving yards last season as a versatile playmaker who could remain on the field all three downs and thrive in the rushing or aerial attack. His presence would have taken some of the pressure off quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's shoulders and given him a security blanket, but the 49ers will have to turn elsewhere.

Matt Breida and Alfred Morris figure to see the majority of the time in the backfield. Breida tallied 465 rushing yards last season, while Morris had 547 on the Dallas Cowboys. However, Morris also has three seasons with more than 1,000 yards on the ground from his time early in his career on Washington.

It still isn't the plan the 49ers envisioned when they signed McKinnon this offseason, but the running back was still positive he will bounce back in 2019.

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