Oct 24, 2022 - Sports

Christian McCaffrey makes Niners debut

49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Running back Christian McCaffrey made his 49ers debut yesterday roughly 48 hours after he found out he was heading to San Francisco.

What’s happening: Last Friday, the Niners finalized a major trade with the Carolina Panthers to bring McCaffrey aboard.

  • In return, the 49ers gave up their second, third, and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round selection in 2024.

By the numbers: McCaffrey saw limited action against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, with eight carries for 38 yards and two catches for 24 yards.

  • The Niners lost 44-23.

The intrigue: It’s a homecoming of sorts for McCaffrey, who played for Stanford in college.

  • There’s also a family connection, with McCaffrey’s father Ed McCaffrey — a former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos — having played under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s dad, Mike Shanahan.

Why it matters: With a 3-4 record this season, the Niners hope bringing McCaffrey on can boost their hopes of making the playoffs and potentially another Super Bowl run.

What they’re saying: “You only do this when you have a belief in your team as it's constructed," Niners general manager John Lynch said last week regarding the trade. "We understand we have a lot of work to do, and this isn't a magic pill that's going to fix all of our ills as a team … but we do still very much believe in this team, and that's why we took a swing at an excellent football player."

Yes, but: Running backs, like plenty of other positions in football, are extremely vulnerable to injury and so far in his six years in the NFL McCaffrey has been far from immune.

  • Over the past two seasons, he's missed 23 out of 33 games.

What’s next: The Niners go on the road next week to take on their rival Los Angeles Rams.

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