The 49ers gave running back Jerick McKinnon a to be their multidimensional weapon coming out of the backfield. So, the 49ers were likely more than a bit anxious for the results of an MRI that McKinnon underwent after he suffered a right knee injury during practice on Sunday.
The 49ers can relax, though. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McKinnon avoided a serious injury and only suffered a strain.
According to reporters in attendance, McKinnon went down clutching his knee during team drills. But after the training staff tended to him, he appeared to be OK considering he remained present at practice and stuck around afterwards to sign autographs.
#49ers RB Jerick McKinnon went down early in team drills and was clutching at his knee. After some time with the medical staff, McKinnon stood up and walked around and watched end of the practice. He also stayed after to sign autographs for fans and was in good spirits.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 12, 2018
Troubling moment at practice as Jerick McKinnon was hobbling, grabbing behind right knee. After getting checked out by medical staff, he is walking around and is watching remainder of practice. GM John Lynch slapped hands with McKinnon after he got up from the ground.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 12, 2018
After practice, though, the 49ers revealed that McKinnon would have an MRI on his right knee.
McKinnon is expected to be one of the most important pieces of the 49ers’ offense considering he’s coming off a 991-yard (from scrimmage) season with the Vikings. He’s most effective as a pass-catcher. Last season, he caught 51 passes for 421 yards.
If McKinnon had been forced to miss any meaningful football, Matt Breida likely would’ve taken on a larger role as the primary ball carrier while fullback Kyle Juszczyk would’ve handled a lot of the pass-catching duties coming out of the backfield. McKinnon would’ve been a difficult player for the 49ers — a trendy playoff pick in a very difficult division and conference — to replace.
Luckily for the 49ers, they won’t have to do that.