SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams all missed practice for the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday and their status for this week’s game against Minnesota is in doubt.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said all three players are day to day after getting hurt in last week’s loss at Cleveland. San Francisco (5-1) visits Minnesota on Monday night and will have two more practice days this week before the game.
Samuel injured his shoulder in the first snap of the game and played only nine snaps in the game. Williams sprained his ankle in the first half and returned after missing two plays but was hindered the rest of the way. McCaffrey hurt his oblique in the first half and was unable to finish the game.
But in all, the news was relatively good with none of the players having suffered a significant injury.
“I thought it was,” Shanahan said if he was encouraged after getting results of McCaffrey’s MRI. “Anyone who’s day to day means they have a chance.”
Losing McCaffrey would be particularly harmful for the Niners, whose offense was transformed a year ago when he was acquired in a mid-season trade from Carolina.
Friday is the one-year anniversary of the deal and San Francisco has not lost a regular-season game since that McCaffrey has been able to start and finish.
McCaffrey has averaged 114.1 yards from scrimmage with 19 TDs in 17 games since joining the 49ers. San Francisco won 15 of those games, losing only the first game to Kansas City when McCaffrey came off the bench days after being acquired and on Sunday in Cleveland when he got hurt.
McCaffrey is second in the NFL with 133 touches from scrimmage – the most for any 49ers player in the first six games of the season since 2010. But Shanahan said he’s not concerned about the heavy workload.
“We treat him as our starting running back,” Shanahan said. “I don’t really think of how many touches we want to get somebody in a year, that’s week to week and how the game goes. But he gets a lot more extra because he gets thrown to so much in the passing game. But I’m happy with how he’s being used. I’m happy with how he’s been playing and we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.”
While the injuries on offense are the biggest concern, linebacker Dre Greenlaw also missed practice Thursday with a hamstring injury and is day to day.
Greenlaw missed the game last week, dealing a blow to San Francisco’s defense. The Niners allowed a season-high 160 yards rushing with Oren Burks and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles unable to make up for his absence.
“Dre’s an amazing player. We’re obviously a better defense when he’s out there. That being said, we obviously expect the standard to be the standard regardless of who’s out there. OB and Flan are very capable of being out there and doing exactly what we need them to do. That being said, Dre is obviously a key part of what we do as well.”
NOTES: LG Aaron Banks (ankle) didn’t practice and CB Isaiah Oliver (knee) was limited.
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