San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan teased Friday morning that running back Christian McCaffrey could feature for his new club as soon as Sunday against the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs even though McCaffrey joined the Niners less than 72 hours before kickoff of that game.
“I’m still up in the air whether we’re going to be able to get him here for Sunday or not,” Shanahan explained during an appearance on San Francisco sports radio station KNBR, per David Bonilla of 49ers WebZone. “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.”
Shanahan later added he is “not sure at all” about McCaffrey playing so soon after he was traded by the Carolina Panthers late Thursday night.
“This happened so fast, and we’ve just got to see where he’s at,” the coach remarked.
Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk wrote that “the 49ers will do what they can to make it feasible for McCaffrey to play some role on offense this weekend” but also said Shanahan may not make a final decision about the 26-year-old’s availability until the game begins.
“It was more a big smile and then like, ‘All right, I’ve got to go back and redo third downs, redo red zone, redo everything.’ And then it was like, ‘Wait a second. He’s still got to come and pass the physical. He’s not going to be at practice,'” Shanahan responded when asked about his reaction to learning the trade was completed and official.
After the 3-3 49ers host the Chiefs this Sunday, they’ll play at the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams before San Francisco enjoys its bye week.