SANTA CLARA – Running back Christian McCaffrey’s oblique injury is not expected to be a long-term issue, ESPN reported Tuesday.
McCaffrey scored in his 15th consecutive game Sunday before pain in his oblique and ribs forced him out before the fourth quarter of a 19-17 loss at Cleveland, the 49ers’ first defeat of the season.
McCaffrey, along with wide receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams, has “a chance” to play when the 49ers (5-1) visit the Minnesota Vikings (2-4) on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” Adam Schefter reported on Twitter.
A 49ers spokesman could not confirm that report, although coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that Samuel (shoulder) and Williams (ankle) were “day-to-day,” thus alleviating concerns of lengthy absences.
McCaffrey, a seventh-year pro out of Stanford, has played in every game since the 49ers traded for him last October from Carolina, battling through knee and calf injuries late last season.
Despite rushing for just 43 yards on Sunday’s 11 carries, McCaffrey remains the NFL’s leading rusher with 553 yards. He accounts for nine of the 49ers’ 22 touchdowns this season (seven rushing, two receiving), and he put them ahead 7-0 Sunday with a 13-yard catch on Brock Purdy’s 10th touchdown pass of the season.
McCaffrey accounts for 32% of the 49ers’ yards from scrimmage this season. He has their second-most receptions (23 for 177 yards), just behind Brandon Aiyuk (25 for 454 yards).
Injuries cost McCaffrey 23 games in the 2020-21 seasons.
Shanahan said Monday there was uncertainty about when McCaffrey suffered his injury Sunday. On his first carry and the 49ers’ second snap, he was pushed out of bounds and collided with the 49ers’ bench.
Samuel, Shanahan said, injured his shoulder on the 49ers’ first play, when he landed on it after an 8-yard run.
“If you watch him like the next eight plays and stuff, you could just tell his feeling was starting to go because he couldn’t use his left arm,” Shanahan said. “He tried to come back and stuff, but just couldn’t get feeling back in it. So we had to shut him down.”
Williams soldiered through his low ankle sprain and played 60-of-62 snaps.