Christian McCaffrey

CMC returns to practice, ready for 49ers-Packers playoff clash

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SANTA CLARA — Running back Christian McCaffrey returned to the practice field Tuesday as the 49ers began preparations to face the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs on Saturday at Levi's Stadium.

McCaffrey, who led the NFL with 1,459 yards rushing, sat out the past two weeks to allow a mild right calf strain to fully heal before the 49ers' first playoff game.

“I think he’s geared-up and ready to go, same way he was last year, probably the same way he was in his playoff game when he was 5 years old, too, or a scrimmage,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Christian is always the same. He’s always waiting for that moment.”

McCaffrey, rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown and wide receiver Jauan Jennings were fully cleared to resume practice. Brown missed two games with a knee injury, while Jennings sat out the final three games of the regular season with a concussion.

The only player on the 49ers’ 53-man roster who is not expected to be available to face the Packers is defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who sustained a knee injury in the team’s Week 18 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The 49ers on Tuesday re-signed defensive end Austin Bryant to the practice squad. The 27-year-old saw action in two games with San Francisco earlier this season, and he could compete with rookie Robert Beal in practices this week to suit up as the fourth defensive end behind Nick Bosa, Chase Young and Randy Gregory.

The 49ers released running back Jeremy McNichols in order to make room on the practice squad for Bryant.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Achilles) and safety Logan Ryan (groin) were scheduled to sit out practice on Tuesday, though both should be available to play on Saturday, Shanahan said.

Shanahan said Greenlaw is expected to practice on Wednesday.

“We pushed him hard (Monday), just so we wanted him to take a day off before we push him again,” Shanahan said.

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who missed the final five regular-season games due to foot and knee issues, is back at practice. He was limited on Tuesday but he is expected to be a full-go for the playoffs.

The 49ers could also activate safety and core special-teams player George Odum from injured reserve. He underwent surgery to repair a torn biceps in late-November.

Here is the 49ers’ injury report for Tuesday:

No practice

DE Clelin Ferrell (knee)
LB Dre Greenlaw (Achilles)
S Logan Ryan (groin)


DT Arik Armstead (foot, knee)
S George Odum (bicep)

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