McKinnon (calf) will be held out for the rest of the preseason, Brian Murphy of KNBR 680 reports.
McKinnon strained his right calf during Sunday's practice, just three days after Matt Breida suffered a separated shoulder in San Francisco's preseason opener. With both running backs now ruled out for the rest of the exhibition slate, the Niners will divide carries between Jeremy McNichols, Joe Williams, Alfred Morris, Raheem Mostert and Jeffery Wilson -- a group that's likely competing for two roster spots. Comments from 49ers brass suggest the team expects both McKinnon and Breida to be ready for Week 1 against Minnesota.
McKinnon will undergo an MRI on his right knee, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.
McKinnon left Sunday's practice with what was believed to be a knee injury, only for the 49ers to confirm as much afterward. While the MRI may be a precautionary measure, the team likely is sitting on pins and needles just three days removed from losing backup running back Matt Breida (shoulder) for the rest of the preseason. If McKinnon also requires a stint away from the field, Raheem Mostert, Joe Williams, Jeremy McNichols and Jeffery Wilson represent the team's remaining healthy backfield options.
McKinnon also secured several passes during full-team workouts, showing signs of chemistry in the passing game with the 49ers' franchise signal-caller. The running back set new career highs in receptions (51) and receiving yards (421) with the Vikings last season, but there is room for even more growth under head coach Kyle Shanahan, who has generally deployed his backs as dual threats. After inking a four-year deal with San Francisco this offseason, McKinnon should lead the team's backfield committee in 2018, but it's still unclear exactly how many touches per game he should expect to earn.
McKinnon said he is excited to work under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who believes the running back is much better than his statistics suggest, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports. "I know the stuff we liked McKinnon on," said Shanahan. "if I could just cut up those numbers I think they would have been good numbers. But when you take the whole accumulation of things, I think they watered things down."
Shanahan said he "got lost" while watching film on McKinnon, whose work as a pass catcher -- 94 receptions the past two years -- stood out above all else on tape. The 2014 third-round pick entered the league with an elite athletic profile in terms of speed (4.41 40), strength (32 bench reps) and explosion (40.5-inch vertical, 132-inch broad jump) -- talent he displayed while averaging 4.9 yards on 165 carries as Adrian Peterson's backup in 2014 and 2015. Eventually freed up for a larger role, McKinnon slumped to 3.4 YPC in 2016 and 3.8 last season, albeit with the aforementioned receiving contributions and some big plays sprinkled in. The Niners saw enough to warrant a four-year, $30 million contract, presumably betting that Shanahan's scheme will make better use of McKinnon's rare athletic traits. He'll turn 26 in May and should enter training camp as the starter, ahead of second-year players Matt Breida, Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. The outlook always could change if the 49ers use an early draft pick on a running back, though Shanahan's comments hint that it won't be a priority.
McKinnon agreed Wednesday with the 49ers on a four-year, $30 million contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
McKinnon was set to be a second or third option if he returned to the Vikings with Dalvin Cook (knee) set to return in 2018 and Latavius Murray still in the fold, but now he'll at least have a shot to compete for the primary job in the San Francisco backfield. The size of the contract suggests McKinnon will enter camp as the favorite for lead-back status, ahead of Matt Breida, Joe Williams, Jeremy McNichols and Raheem Mostert (knee). Of course, there's still time for the Niners to supplement their running-back stable in free agency or the draft.
|P3||8/25/18||@ IND||4:30 pm|
|1||9/9/18||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|3||9/23/18||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ LAC||4:25 pm|
|6||10/15/18||@ GB||8:15 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/25/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ SEA||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2018||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|