CMC good to go, Mitchell questionable ahead of NFC title game


After sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday, Christian McCaffrey returned to the field Friday and was removed from the 49ers' injury report for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 49ers will need everyone, McCaffrey included, in order to stop the NFC’s top seed at Lincoln Financial Field. The All-Pro running back’s counterpart, Elijah Mitchell, was listed as questionable for the big game with a groin injury, as was cornerback Ambry Thomas, who has an ankle issue.

Earlier in the week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he believed both Mitchell and McCaffrey would be available to play Sunday. The 1-2 running back punch has been effective for Shanahan’s offense.

Mitchell has been extremely effective when healthy, but that has been a challenge. The second-year pro was sidelined for much of the 2022 NFL season with a knee injury, appearing in just seven games.

“I think he is always the same -- he is as violent of a runner,” Shanahan said. "That’s why we started out calling him ‘Drano’ because he always goes to the right hole. We also call him the ‘Trash Man,’ too, because when he is out there, it sounds like trash cans are banging around in the alley.”

“He likes to run into people violently when he has nowhere to go, and that’s what makes him a special back.”

McCaffrey, who was dealing with a calf contusion, shared that while he remained off the field earlier in the week, he still was doing everything he could in regards to walk-throughs. The All-Pro ball carrier also is not afraid of contact.

“I think Christian is great at hitting the right holes, too,” Shanahan said. “When there isn’t a hole there, he never turns things down, and he will put his pads into people, too. But I do think they are a really good mix with each other and their styles.”

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who was listed with an ankle injury earlier in the week, also was removed from the injury report.

RELATED: Five 49ers to watch: CMC's production could be key to NFC title

Here is the full game status report for the NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers 
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) 

RB Elijah Mitchell (groin)
CB Ambry Thomas (ankle) 

Philadelphia Eagles
All players available

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