Christian McCaffrey says NFC Championship Game was ‘stolen’ from 49ers


San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey felt like the NFC Championship Game was “stolen” due to their lack of a healthy quarterback.

The San Francisco 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game despite losing Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to injuries this season. Rookie Brock Purdy led the way since Week 13, but suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers injury woes at the quarterback position only got worse, as backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion, forcing Purdy to re-enter the game despite his elbow injury. The 49ers lost 31-7 and missed out on the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

Running back Christian McCaffrey appeared on FanDuel TV’s Up and Adams show with host Kay Adams and spoke about the injuries at the quarterback position in that game. McCaffrey said that it felt like the game was “stolen” from the 49ers since they didn’t have a healthy quarterback for the full game, and pushed for the league to bring back the emergency third quarterback rule.

“You don’t want to make excuses, obviously, but it just sucks because we wish we had a healthy quarterback for a full game and just kind of see how the game would have panned out,” said McCaffrey. “It’s a really good team that we played, but it feels like something got stolen from you. Just wish it would have played out differently. Wish we could run that one back. Hopefully they change that rule where you can carry a third quarterback. That’s what I hope they do. Yeah, it’s definitely still tough.”

Christian McCaffrey feels NFC Championship Game was ‘stolen’ from 49ers

The rule that McCaffrey brought up began in 1991, in which the NFL allowed teams to carry a third quarterback that would not count towards the 45 player limit on game day. But, that rule went away after the 2010 season in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, where they ruled in favor of just increasing the game day player limit to 46.

So to run it down, the 49ers watched as Lance fracture his ankle in Week 2, Garoppolo break his foot in Week 13, Purdy suffer a torn UCL in his throwing elbow in the NFC Championship Game, and Josh Johnson suffering a concussion in that very game Purdy got hurt. Talk about bad luck.

Purdy is reportedly scheduled to undergo surgery on Feb. 22 to repair the UCL, but he will be able to return around the start of training camp.

The 49ers will look to once again make a push for the Super Bowl next season. As for who their starting quarterback will be, that remains to be seen.

It will also be interesting to see if the emergency third quarterback rule will be reinstated in the near future. That will all depend on if it is brought up at the NFL league meetings scheduled for March 26-29.

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