Kyle Shanahan says McCaffrey, Mitchell expected to play in NFC Championship game
Less than 24 hours after advancing to the NFC Championship game, Kyle Shanahan delivered more good news for the San Francisco 49ers Faithful.
The Bay Area head coach confirmed injuries to running backs Christian McCaffrey (calf) and Elijah Mitchell (groin), and defensive end Charles Omenihu (oblique) Monday. All three players suffered the injuries against the Cowboys, playing through the pain Sunday afternoon.
Despite the ailments, all three are expected to suit up for the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles next weekend.
“We’re expecting to get them all back for Sunday, but we’ll see how it goes through the week for practice and everything and hopefully it’ll go well and get them ready for Sunday,” Kyle Shanahan said via conference call Monday.
The defense was the biggest reason for the Red & Gold to advance past Dallas, with linebacker Fred Warner captaining the ship. Warner was all over the place Sunday, finishing with nine combined tackles, one TFL, one INT and one pass defended against WR CeeDee Lamb.
Linebackers just shouldn’t be able to do this. They shouldn’t.
This play should be a touchdown to CeeDee Lamb, but Fred Warner… pic.twitter.com/Oqi22WHU24
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) January 23, 2023
Making his second All-Pro selection of his career, the BYU alum has turned into one of the most important defensive players in the NFL.
“Fred is as good of a player as there is in this league,” Shanahan stated emphatically. “I mean, his rookie year we knew we had something special. Just how he came in and was able to play so much for us and the pressure we put on him calling the defense and stuff like that and how he could handle it as a rookie like he was a 10-year vet.”
While the offense struggled to get a rhythm, quarterback Brock Purdy’s ability to take care of the football was very impressive to Shanahan. Only throwing for 214 passing yards Sunday, Purdy’s play only reaffirms his coaches’ confidence in him.
“He’s been unbelievable at that,” Shanahan said. “I think that’s the number one thing he’s done and to be able to be as good with the ball as he has while still making a number of the plays that he has that’s definitely the thing I’ve been most impressed with.”
Purdy has had a lot of support along the way. QB Trey Lance has been in the building the past few months, receiving from a fractured ankle suffered Week 2. Lance has been in every meeting since returning to the team, going through progressions and prep work alongside Purdy.
Additionally, fellow QB Jimmy Garoppolo is working his way back from a fractured foot suffered Week 13 against the Dolphins. Scheduled to have an X-Ray Tuesday, Shanahan would be surprised to see Jimmy G back on the practice field this week.
“I don’t think so. I think he gets the X-Ray tomorrow to see how things are going, I believe so. But still, same as last week, I’d be very surprised if he was out there this week,” Shanahan announced.