The 49ers are not waiting to deploy their new offensive weapon. Running back Christian McCaffrey expects to dress Sunday when San Francisco hosts the Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium, just 13 miles down the road from Stanford Stadium where McCaffrey played his college football.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that McCaffrey was likely to go against Kansas City only in the red zone packages.
That would make sense since the team will have two days of visits to update McCaffrey. He may be able to get enough offense to get a few non-red zone looks in certain situations, but just having him inside 20 would be helpful.
San Francisco this season is 10 of 17 in the red zone this season according to Pro Football Reference. Their conversion rate of 58.8 is good for 14th place in the NFL, but it’s considerably lower than their best conversion rate of 66.7% in the NFL last season. If they can start to improve in the red zone, doing so against the Chiefs would be a good time for that.
McCaffrey gives head coach Kyle Shanahan a capable runner between tackles and outside, but he’s also a threat as a receiver who could give the 49ers a handful of wrinkles to throw at the Chiefs immediately.
The good news for McCaffrey as he gets up to speed is that there will be a full week of practice before a Week 8 tilt with the Rams and then he will have Week 9 Bye Week for go further on the offensive. .