The cost was high, but the 3-3 49ers needed more offensive oomph. San Francisco’s attack, although having Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and (when healthy) George Kittle, is typically in the middle of the pack in the key categories and is 19th in scoring with 20.3 points per game.

A packed backfield that is now headed by Jeff Wilson gains McCaffrey’s services. Samuel also runs on occasion, and the team anticipates that leading rusher for 2021 Elijah Mitchell, who has been sidelined since Week 1 due to an MCL sprain, will return following the Week 9 bye.

McCaffrey isn’t simply a runner, though. In 64 games over his career, he has 390 receptions, twice surpassing the 100-catch milestone. McCaffrey missed 23 of Carolina’s 33 regular-season games in 2020 and 2021 due to serious injuries.

McCaffrey has played most of the offensive snaps in each of the Panthers’ six games so far in 2022 because to his comparatively good health. He has the 12th-most carries (85), 13th-most rushing yards (393), 31st-most targets (43) and 19th-most receptions in the NFL (33).

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