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Christian McCaffrey returns to practice Friday, ahead of NFC Championship

49ers RB is still dealing with a calf injury as the Niners progress through the playoffs. We break down the potential impact.

Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is considered day-to-day with a calf injury heading into the NFC Championship Game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

McCaffrey had 10 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown in the Niners’ Divisional round win over the Dallas Cowboys — San Francisco’s only touchdown of the game. His snaps were limited late in the game due to the calf injury, resulting in his lowest rushing yardage since November. He also added six receptions for 22 yards in the win while playing through the injury in Sunday’s game. In comparison, he had 136 all-purpose yards and a score in the Wild Card round.

McCaffrey said the injury was “nothing bad.” Running back Elijah Mitchell filled in on several snaps, adding 51 yards on the ground over 14 carries. The Niners are 2.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook heading into their game against the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Christian McCaffrey injury updates

Friday, Jan. 27 update — McCaffrey returned to practice on Friday, per Matt Barrows. We’ll see if he has an injury designation on the final report, but even if he does, he is playing.

Thursday, Jan. 26 update — McCaffrey won’t practice again on Thursday as he rests his calf injury, per Omar Ruiz. There is still no doubt that he will play.

Wednesday, Jan. 25 update — McCaffrey didn’t practice on Wednesday, but Kyle Shanahan expects him to play on Sunday, per Jennifer Lee Chan.

Monday, Jan. 23 update — McCaffrey has a bruised calf and his injury is considered day-to-day, per Nick Wagoner.

Fantasy football and betting advice

All signs point to McCaffrey being able to play in the NFC Championship game. He should see plenty of work and is a high-upside play in DFS and fantasy.