Heading into Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers had five running backs on their 53-man roster, Christian McCaffrey, Jeff Wilson, Tyrion Davis-Price, Tevin Coleman, and Jordan Mason.
That’s too many.
While part of the reason behind the logjam at the position was due to the decision to trade for McCaffrey in the waning hours of an otherwise unspectacular Thursday night, as the Niners slotted the former Carolina Panthers rusher into their open roster spot and didn’t have to make a corresponding move to facilitate the trade, the fallout from the deal has begun, as Tevin Coleman has been released from the 53-man roster to presumably make way for Jason Verrett coming off of the Pup list.
Since Coleman doesn’t have to pass through waivers to become a free agent once more, he could theoretically sign with the practice squad whenever he’d like and the 49ers will certainly be motivated to make sure that becomes a reality, as the their other veteran rusher, Marlon Mack, was signed by the Denver Broncos on October 24th.
Inside CMC’s ‘Weird First Week’ With The San Francisco 49ers
When asked about what it was like to play for the 49ers on roughly 48 hours notice in Week 7, the former Carolina Panthers performer conceded the weirdness of the week, as detailed by ESPN.
“This was a weird week for me and for them,” McCaffrey said. “I didn’t kind of know what to expect. I know that I had a certain list of plays that were up and I think for me mentally this was just focus on everything I can, control what I can control and get rolling. Obviously, losing is frustrating, but I’m still getting to know these guys. I’ve got to do my job. I’ve got to make a few more plays here.”
Logging 22 snaps of the Niners’ 79 offensive snaps, McCaffrey looked every bit the part of a difference-making performer tailor-made for Shanahan’s scheme, as he rushed the ball eight times for 38 yards, including an impressive 12 yard run at the top of the second quarter, and picked up 24 more yards as a receiver on two targets. As he becomes more and more comfortable in Shanahan’s offense, that role will only continue to grow, even after Elijah Mitchell returns from IR.
Jeff Wilson Embraced McCaffrey’s Addition Before Week 7
When asked about the 49ers’ decision to trade for Christian McCaffrey before his team’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Wilson lauded the move, as transcribed by 49ers Webzone.
“No doubt,” Wilson answered. “I mean, we felt that way before Christian got here, so with adding him, we feel that way even more now. … We’ve got the best group in the NFL.”
When asked to follow up on what McCaffrey brings to the table, Wilson was quick to respond.
“He’s a vet,” Wilson said. “I know he’s a smart player. That’s why he’s been in the league and been in the position that he’s had in his entire life, even at Stanford. I used to watch him. Coming out of college, I used to try to pace myself to keep up with him. … Just to have him here, he’s going to bring a lot to the table.”
Though the Niners’ running back rotation will be shaken up once more in the not-too-distant future when Mitchell is activated off of IR, for now, it’s clear the Wilson-McCaffrey pairing is potent indeed.