SANTA CLARA — Running back Christian McCaffrey offered a rather specific percentage for the possibility he will be unable to play in the NFC Championship Game.
“Zero,” he answered on Thursday at the 49ers' practice facility.
McCaffrey was not scheduled to practice Thursday for a second consecutive day due to a right calf contusion. But there is no doubt in his mind he will be able to take the field for the 49ers on Sunday against the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles.
McCaffrey is taking part in walk-throughs and repeatedly going through his list of plays with assistant coaches Bobby Turner and Anthony Lynn, he said.
“It’s the same process for me, just lowering a little bit of the physical load,” McCaffrey said.
Backup running back Elijah Mitchell has also been held out of the team’s practices this week with a groin strain. The 49ers expect both McCaffrey and Mitchell to play with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.
McCaffrey figures to play a huge role in Sunday’s game. If there is an area in which the Eagles’ defense has shown to be susceptible, it’s with a run defense that allowed 4.6 yards per carry.
If the 49ers are able to run the ball successfully, it could allow coach Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling to slow down the Eagles’ pass rush with play-action passes for quarterback Brock Purdy.
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Philadelphia led the NFL with 70 sacks during the regular season.
“They fly to the ball well. They have a good pass rush,” McCaffrey said. “For us, it’s about executing the play call, though.
"Kyle knows all that stuff, and he knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball. It’s just up to us to be able to do it at full speed and play beyond the X’s and O’s.”
49ers practice report
No practice: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), RB Christian McCaffrey (calf), RB Elijah Mitchell (groin)
Limited: DL Charles Omenihu (oblique), WR Deebo Samuel (ankle), CB Ambry Thomas (ankle)