San Francisco 49ers Running Back Christian McCaffrey Avoids Serious Injury

Posted on: October 18, 2023, 08:48h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2023, 10:54h.

The San Francisco 49ers revealed that dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey avoided a serious injury in their first loss of the season on Sunday.

Christian McCaffrey 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffery (23) stiff arms Cleveland Browns defensive end Za’Darius Smith (99) at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Week 6. (Image: Getty)

The 49ers lost a tough road game to the Browns, 19-17, when rookie kicker Jake Moody missed a potential game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. The Browns pulled off the upset victory without running back Nick Chubb, who they lost in Week 2 to a season-ending knee injury.

McCaffery went down with an injury in the third quarter and missed several plays while the training staff evaluated him. He returned to the game for one play, scampering for a six-yard run before exiting the game for good. The 49ers ruled him out for the fourth quarter.

Initial X-rays were negative for any fractured ribs, but the 49ers said McCaffrey sustained an oblique muscle injury.

The Browns kept McCaffrey and the entire 49ers’ offense in check in Week 6. McCaffrey rushed only 11 times for a season-low 43 yards. He added three receptions for nine yards and one touchdown.

The 49ers also saw two other starters go down with injuries against the Browns. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel tweaked his shoulder, and left tackle Trent Williams rolled his right ankle. Both Samuel and Williams are listed as questionable, but neither player anticipates missing the next game.

The 49ers head to the Twin Cities to play the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football in Week 7.

CMAC Eyes Week 7 Return

On Monday morning, McCaffery underwent an MRI and additional testing to determine the severity of his injury. The 49ers were vague about the precise results, but the team mentioned that McCaffery avoided a long-term injury.

The versatile McCaffrey is widely regarded as the top running back in the NFL. After a hot start, McCaffrey saw a bump in 2023 NFL MVP odds, and he’s the highest running back on DraftKings’ NFL awards board.

In six games this season, McCaffrey rushed 110 times for 553 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry. He added 23 catches for 177 yards and two touchdown receptions.

After a healthy first three seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, McCaffrey endured two injury-plagued seasons in 2020 and 2021.

The Panthers traded McCaffrey to the 49ers in October of last season. He finished the 2022 season with the 49ers. In those 11 games with his new team, McCaffrey rushed 159 times for 746 yards and six touchdowns. He added 52 receptions for 464 yards and four touchdown catches.

A healthy McCaffrey avoided any mishaps in his first 16 games with the 49ers dating back to last season. Pessimists were anxious, however, believing it was only a matter of time before the injury bug caught up with McCaffrey, who logged 256 snaps through the first five weeks.

At least the outlook is promising, and McCaffrey isn’t expected to miss significant time with his oblique injury. He’s listed as questionable on the injury report but expects to play against the Vikings on Monday Night Football.

Betting the 49ers Onward

The 49ers were undefeated heading into Week 6 before they were tripped up by the Browns and their menacing defense.

With a 5-1 record, the 49ers are tied for the top record in the NFC, and share the best record in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and Miami Dolphins.

The 49ers and the Chiefs currently have the highest win total at 12.5 over/under, according to DraftKings.

Even after their first loss of the season, the 49ers are the consensus favorite to win Super Bowl LVIII at +400 odds. They’re slightly ahead of the defending champion Chiefs (+500), and the Eagles (+600).

The 49ers are also the betting favorite to win the NFC Championship at +155 odds, and they’re ahead of the Eagles (+310), Lions (+550), and Dallas Cowboys (+600).

Out of eight NFL divisions, the 49ers are the largest divisional favorite on the board at -650 odds to win the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at +700 and Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at +1100 are their closest competition in the NFC West.

The Vikings (2-4) host the 49ers on Monday Night Football this upcoming week. The Vikings recently sent star wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a four-week stint on the IL with a hamstring injury. Without Jefferson, major sportsbooks in Las Vegas opened the Vikings as a +7 home underdog.

The Vikings are one of the worst-betting teams in the NFL this season, with a 1-5 record against the point spread (ATS). The 49ers are 4-2 ATS through the first six games.