Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) during a press conference before Super Bowl LVIII at Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey’s mom claims 49ers’ hotel fire alarm was ‘inside job’

Christian McCaffrey’s mother claimed to have “a little insider info” when she said an errant fire alarm at the San Francisco 49ers’ team hotel in Las Vegas was pulled as part of an “inside job.”

Lisa McCaffrey said she was 100 percent sure of the accusation as she spoke with co-host Ashley Adamson during a taping of their podcast, “Your Mom,” at radio row before the 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.

The team confirmed there was a surprise fire alarm at about 6 a.m. on Thursday morning. Nobody was forced to evacuate the building, according to the hotel, because there was no emergency.

“So their hotel’s (on) big-time lockdown so I don’t think it was like a fan infiltrating,” Lisa McCaffrey said. “I bet it was maybe like an employee from Kansas City.”

She and Adamson went on to joke that they could figure out the culprit if they could interrogate a list of hotel employees about their allegiances.

False fire alarms going off at team hotels as an act of potential gamesmanship is nothing new. A New England Patriots fan was even arrested in January 2017 for pulling a fire alarm in the middle of the night at the hotel where the rival Pittsburgh Steelers were staying before the AFC Championship Game.

But the Niners are taking the alarm as an affront. Lisa’s son, who was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year later Thursday, also pointed a finger at the Chiefs.

“I think there’s no way it’s random,” Christian McCaffrey said. “It’s part of it. It’s just more wood thrown on the fire.”

“I’m sure somebody did it,” Nick Bosa said. “It kind of reminded me of Philly when they had this construction going on outside. It was early in the morning and they were like demolishing a bridge right outside of our hotel. We haven’t had the best luck. But no excuses.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) celebrates after beating the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey returns from calf injury

San Francisco 49ers star running back Christian McCaffrey was expected to be a full participant at Tuesday’s practice, coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed.

McCaffrey, a 2023 consensus All-Pro selection, sat out the Week 18 finale against the Los Angeles Rams with a calf strain.

He sustained the injury during San Francisco’s Week 17 win against Washington that clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The 49ers had a bye during wild-card weekend, meaning McCaffrey has had since Dec. 31 to rest and recover.

Barring a setback, he will spearhead the San Francisco offense against the upstart Green Bay Packers in the divisional round on Saturday night in Santa Clara, Calif.

McCaffrey, 27, led the NFL in rushing yards (1,459) and yards from scrimmage (2,023) this season and shared the NFL lead with 21 touchdowns (14 rushing, seven receiving).

In seven seasons since the Carolina Panthers chose him with the eighth pick of the 2017 draft, he has rushed for 6,185 yards and 52 touchdowns, along with 509 receptions for 4,320 yards and 29 TDs, with the Panthers (2017-22) and 49ers (2022-23).

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs from Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) during the first half at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Injured 49ers McCaffrey, Samuel, Williams all could play on MNF

Christian McCaffrey’s oblique/rib injury is not considered serious, giving the San Francisco 49ers’ star running back a chance to play on “Monday Night Football” next week at the Minnesota Vikings, ESPN reported Tuesday.

McCaffrey joins wide receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams as injured 49ers players who may be back sooner than expected.

NBC Sports Bay Area reported that McCaffrey’s injury has to do with pain tolerance more than anything else, leaving open the possibility that he, Samuel and Williams don’t miss any time for San Francisco (5-1).

McCaffrey, Samuel (shoulder) and Williams (ankle) all came away with injuries in Sunday’s 19-17 road loss to the Cleveland Browns — San Francisco’s first defeat of the season.

Williams’ ankle injury is not a high ankle sprain, coach Kyle Shanahan said. Samuel was hit on the shoulder while running a jet sweep on the Niners’ first play from scrimmage.

As of Monday, the 49ers had been waiting for more imaging to come back on McCaffrey before determining a course of action.

McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing with 553 yards despite being held to 43 yards on 11 carries before exiting the Browns game. He also has nine touchdowns (seven rushing, two receiving) through six games.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks for room to run against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Chubb on RB pay: ‘There’s really nothing we can do’

A group of top NFL running backs met via Zoom to discuss the salaries being paid at the position, and Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb had a sobering message for his fellow running backs.

“Right now, there’s really nothing we can do,” Chubb told ESPN on Sunday.

Chubb confirmed to the outlet that he was among the players to take part in the videoconference on Saturday, which Pro Football Talk reported was the brainchild of Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers. Chubb said Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley were among the running backs who joined in.

The meeting came on the heels of Barkley (New York Giants), Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) and Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys) all being unable to reach multi-year contracts ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

ESPN said the running backs brainstormed ideas but did not come up with any plans to address ways to boost their pay.

“We’re kind of handcuffed with the situation. We’re the only position that our production hurts us the most,” Chubb said, per ESPN. “If we go out there and run 2,000 yards with so many carries, the next year they’re going to say, you’re probably worn down. It’s tough. … It hurts us at the end of the day.”

Barkley and Jacobs both were franchise tagged by their teams but have not signed their franchise tenders, worth $10.09 million for the 2023 season. Pollard signed his tag and is expected to report to training camp. Barkley and Jacobs are not, per ESPN.

The average salary for an NFL running back is $1.76 million, which is about $1 million less than the average for a player on offense, according to Spotrac. The average salary for a left tackle is $8.95 million, by contrast.

McCaffrey is playing on a four-year, $64 million contract extension signed with the Carolina Panthers — the highest annual average pay at the position.

“This is Criminal,” McCaffrey tweeted about the contract situations facing Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard. “Three of the best PLAYERS in the entire league, regardless of position.”

Chubb agreed.

“We’re definitely in a tough situation, running backs as a whole,” he said. “Saquon’s a great player and you can ask anyone around the league or even on the Giants how much he means to that team. So it’s hard seeing him not get what he deserves.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 22, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs past Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) during the third quarter of a NFC divisional round game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey insists he’ll play vs. Eagles

Christian McCaffrey has been a talented yet brittle performer during his NFL career.

But the San Francisco 49ers running back made it clear Thursday that he will play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the host Philadelphia Eagles.

McCaffrey missed his second straight day of practice due to a right calf injury but had a one-word answer when asked the chances of him missing the game against the top-seeded Eagles.

“Zero,” McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey is focusing on the mental part of the game and studying the possible plays. He also is taking part in walk-through portions of practice.

“It’s the same process for me, just lowering a little bit of the physical load,” McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey has been a solid contributor for the second-seeded 49ers since being acquired from the Carolina Panthers in mid-October.

He rushed for 746 yards and six touchdowns in 11 regular-season games for the team and also caught 52 passes for 464 yards and four scores. He has scored at least one touchdown in the past eight games, the top such streak of his six-year career.

San Francisco has won all 12 games McCaffrey has started, including playoff victories over the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

He ripped off 119 yards on 15 carries and had a touchdown reception against the Seahawks in the NFC wild-card round but was limited to 35 rushing yards and one score on 10 carries in last Sunday’s divisional round over the Cowboys.

Adding to the anxiety over the running game is that No. 2 back Elijah Mitchell (groin) also missed his second straight practice on Thursday.

Coach Kyle Shanahan expects Mitchell to be available against the Eagles.

The San Francisco running game will surely be counted on Sunday to help take pressure off rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who has won all seven of his NFL starts.

The 49ers will want to slow a potent Eagles’ pass rush that is enjoying a historic campaign.

Counting the postseason, the Eagles have racked up 75 sacks, third-most in NFL history. The only two higher outputs came from the mid-1980s Chicago Bears, who had a record 82 in 1984 and 80 in 1985.

Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (16 sacks), defensive ends Brandon Graham (11) and Josh Sweat (11) and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (11) all established career highs for sacks. The defense also includes tackle Fletcher Cox (seven sacks) and safety C.J. Johnson-Gardner, who tied for the league lead with six interceptions.

“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.”

While the Eagles ranked second in total defense (301.5 yards per game) during the regular season, San Francisco was even better as it led the NFL in total defense (300.6 yards per game) and scoring defense (16.3 points per game).

Defensive end Nick Bosa (NFL-high 18.5 sacks) is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year honors, while linebacker Fred Warner (130 tackles) topped 100 stops for the fifth straight season.

Warner is also known as one of the NFL’s better on-field talkers and that includes barbs directed toward his teammates.

“Fred is always going to talk because he’s a true leader,” Shanahan said. “Fred should be the guy who talks because of the way he carries himself every day. Everyone knows how good of a player he is but when it comes to what he does day-in, day-out since he’s been here … he’s ahead of everybody.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel sit out practice

San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, hybrid receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Elijah Mitchell sat out practice on Wednesday as they nursed their respective injuries.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan, however, told reporters that he expects McCaffrey (calf), Samuel (ankle) and Mitchell (groin) to play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I expect them (to play), but there’s no guarantees,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “Especially with it being an NFC Championship Game, I think there’s a better chance they’ll be ready since there’s nothing guaranteed after this. Hopefully, we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Shanahan initially deemed McCaffrey and Mitchell as day-to-day on Monday, one day after the 49ers’ 19-12 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Shanahan also addressed the availability of defensive end Charles Omenihu (oblique) for Sunday’s game. Omenihu was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence on Monday after police were called to his home in San Jose, Calif.

“We’ve looked into it for the last 24 hours or 48 hours, not necessarily myself but other people,” Shanahan said. “We feel very good letting the legal process take care of itself. Don’t feel we should kick him off our team at this time.”

The NFL confirmed that Omenihu will remain available and that the case will be reviewed down the line.

“The matter will be reviewed under the league’s personal conduct policy. There is no change to his status,” the league’s statement said.

Omenihu, 25, has recorded career-best totals in tackles (20) and sacks (4.5) in 17 games (three starts) this season. He also had two sacks and a forced fumble in San Francisco’s 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round.

McCaffrey, 26, rushed for 746 yards and six touchdowns and caught 52 passes for 464 yards and four scores in 11 regular-season games for the 49ers after being acquired from the Carolina Panthers in mid-October. He was superb in the NFC wild-card round when he gained 119 yards on 15 carries and added a TD catch.

Mitchell, 24, was limited to five regular-season games due to two knee injuries — one to each knee — and had 279 yards and two touchdowns. He had just 2 yards on nine carries versus Seattle but had a touchdown grab among his two catches for 25 yards.

Samuel, 27, had 56 catches for 632 yards and two touchdowns and 42 carries for 232 yards and three scores in 13 games this season. He had six receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown in the wild-card game versus Seattle.

–Field Level Media

Jan 22, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs past Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) during the third quarter of a NFC divisional round game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers RBs Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell both ailing

The San Francisco 49ers’ top two running backs, Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, are dealing with injuries heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at the Philadelphia Eagles.

McCaffrey aggravated a calf injury during last Sunday’s 19-12 divisional round playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys while Mitchell sustained a groin injury.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan termed both running backs as day-to-day on Monday during a conference call with reporters.

Shanahan also said defensive end Charles Omenihu (oblique) is day-to-day.

“We’re expecting to get them all back for Sunday,” said Shanahan, “but we’ll see how it goes through the week with practice and everything. Hopefully it’ll go well and that’ll get them ready for Sunday.”

Mitchell rushed for a game-high 51 yards on 14 carries against Dallas. McCaffrey rushed for 35 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries and caught six passes for 22 yards.

McCaffrey admitted after Sunday’s contest that playing against the Cowboys was a bit of a struggle physically.

“I was fighting but made it through, made it through great,” McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey rushed for 746 yards and six touchdowns and caught 52 passes for 464 yards and four scores in 11 regular-season games for the 49ers after being acquired from the Carolina Panthers in mid-October. He was superb in the NFC wild-card round when he gained 119 yards on 15 carries and added a TD catch in a 41-23 rout of the Seattle Seahawks.

Mitchell was limited to five regular-season games due to two knee injuries — one to each knee — and had 279 yards and two touchdowns. He had just 2 yards on nine carries versus Seattle but had a touchdown grab among his two catches for 25 yards.

Omenihu had a career-high 4.5 sacks during the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) stiff arms Los Angeles Rams linebacker Ernest Jones (53) in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey’s TD trifecta powers 49ers past Rams

Christian McCaffrey had a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown as the visiting San Francisco 49ers continued their regular-season dominance over the rival Los Angeles Rams with a 31-14 victory Sunday at Inglewood, Calif.

McCaffrey had a 34-yard passing touchdown in the second quarter, a 9-yard receiving score in the third and a 1-yard rushing TD in the fourth to seal San Francisco’s eighth consecutive regular-season victory over Los Angeles.

McCaffrey became the first NFL player with the touchdown hat trick since the San Diego Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.

Jimmy Garoppolo was 21-of-25 passing for the 49ers (4-4) with 235 yards and two touchdowns. McCaffrey, in just his second game with San Francisco after a trade from the Carolina Panthers, had 94 yards rushing and eight catches for 55 yards.

Matthew Stafford had a rushing and passing touchdown for the Rams (3-4), going 22 of 33 in the air for a season-low 187 yards. Cooper Kupp had eight receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown for the Rams but left with 1:02 remaining after an apparent leg injury.

Los Angeles has not defeated San Francisco in a regular-season game since 2018, although the Rams did get the best of their rival in last season’s NFC Championship Game on the way to a Super Bowl victory.

The Rams grabbed the early 7-0 lead when Stafford squeezed into the end zone from 1 yard out to cap a 17-play, 88-yard drive. The 49ers answered immediately, finishing off a 71-yard drive when McCaffrey took a backward pass from Garoppolo in the flat and hit Brandon Aiyuk on a 34-yard scoring strike.

The Rams pushed their advantage to 14-7 midway through the second quarter on Kupp’s 16-yard reception. The 49ers pulled within 14-10 at the half on a 29-yard field goal from Robbie Gould.

San Francisco moved into the lead for good at 17-14 with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter when McCaffrey made a leaping catch along the right side of the end zone on a 9-yard pass from Garoppolo.

McCaffrey’s 1-yard touchdown run came with 12:07 remaining for a 24-14 lead and San Francisco made it 31-14 on a 7-yard pass from Garoppolo to George Kittle with 6:41 remaining.

The 49ers played without wide receiver Deebo Samuel because of a hamstring injury.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) and linebacker Fred Warner (54) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Super Bowl odds shorten with Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey’s return to the Bay Area created an immediate seismic shift in NFL futures odds.

The San Francisco 49ers enter Week 7 in a three-way tied atop the scuffling NFC West and are only a half-game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Arizona Cardinals. However, they would also be the No. 4 seed in the NFC if the playoffs started today.

That’s why general manager John Lynch pushed all of his chips to the center of the table, sending three draft picks next year and one in 2024 to Carolina to acquire McCaffrey. The former Heisman Trophy candidate will now play his home games 20 minutes down the road from where he starred at Stanford.

With McCaffrey taking over the lead role in the injury-plagued backfield, the 49ers went from +100 at BetMGM to win the division to -120. Their odds of winning the NFC Championship shifted from +800 to +650, while their odds of winning the Super Bowl shortened from +1800 to +1400.

The sportsbook reported Friday that 63 percent of the bets made since the trade were on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, 94 percent were on them to win the NFC and 83 percent were on them to win the division.

The impact was similar at SportsBetting.ag, where San Francisco’s title odds were trimmed from +1600 to +1000. The 49ers now have the fourth-shortest Super Bowl odds at the sportsbook.

“We were already pretty exposed in terms of futures liability with the Niners,” said Robert Cooper, the head trader at SportsBetting.ag. “It seems like McCaffrey will be a good fit for that (Kyle) Shanahan system, and the bets are coming in heavy across the board despite San Fran looking like a very average team so far this season.”

The Panthers’ future odds predictably went in the other direction with McCaffrey following coach Matt Rhule (fired) and wide receiver Robbie Anderson (traded to Arizona) out the door.

Carolina was already tied for the longest odds to win the NFC (+30000) and Super Bowl (+75000) at BetMGM, but the Panthers did shift from +4000 to +5000 to win the NFC South.

That’s despite general manager Scott Fitterer insisting the team is tanking this season to focus on next year’s NFL draft.

“No,” Fitterer said. “I think what we had to figure in was what’s best for the organization. Our focus is still on going out and competing every weekend. We expect to win. That was (coach Steve Wilks’) mindset this weekend.

“The NFL is a business where you lose guys – whether it’s injuries, trades, whatever happens. The expectation of winning never changes. Those guys in the locker room fight too hard. They work too hard every day. So, we owe it to them. That’s our expectation as an organization is to go out and win every game.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) carries the ball against the Los Angeles Rams in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: 49ers land Christian McCaffrey in trade with Panthers

After weeks of speculation, the Carolina Panthers reportedly traded star running back Christian McCaffrey, sending him back to where he starred in college.

Multiple media outlets reported Thursday night that the Panthers are trading McCaffrey to San Francisco. According to NFL.com, Carolina will receive three 2023 draft picks (second, third and fourth round) and a fifth-rounder in 2024 in exchange for the former Stanford star.

McCaffrey established himself as one of the top offensive weapons in the NFL upon entering the league as the eighth overall pick in 2017. His best season came in 2019, when he eclipsed 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving and totaled 19 touchdowns.

Injuries have hampered him since, however, as he played in 16 of his team’s 39 games since the start of the 2020 season. He has 393 yards on 85 carries and 277 yards on 33 receptions with three total scores thus far in 2022.

The Panthers (1-5) appear to be in a full-blown rebuild at this point, having traded receiver Robbie Anderson to Arizona earlier this week. Anderson had been sent to the locker room during Carolina’s 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday following arguments with coaches on the sideline.

Carolina fired head coach Matt Rhule earlier this month after the team stumbled to a 1-4 start.

The 49ers are off to a 3-3 start after reaching the NFC Championship Game last season.

San Francisco has employed a running-back-by-committee philosophy in recent years, due in part to injuries at the position. The story has continued into this season, with starter Elijah Mitchell going down with a knee injury in Week 1. Jeff Wilson Jr. has assumed the No. 1 role and performed well in recent weeks. His 81 carries, 400 rushing yards and two rushing scores all lead the club.

The team’s second-leading rusher is receiver Deebo Samuel (136 yards), and their No. 3 rusher is quarterback Trey Lance — and he was lost for the season to an ankle injury in Week 2.

–Field Level Media