NFC Notes: Christian McCaffrey, Van Jefferson, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks


When asked about the number of facemask penalties and helmet-to-helmet hits 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey has drawn this season, HC Kyle Shanahan doesn’t think defenses are targeting McCaffrey and feels teams are just being desperate to get him down. 

“No, I don’t think they’re trying to do it,” Shanahan said, via ProFootballTalk. “I don’t think teams are trying to hit him in the helmet or trying to face mask him. I think people are desperate on how to bring him down. You look at the tackle versus Arizona, if that guy didn’t do all that stuff, Christian was walking in for a touchdown or carrying him in for a touchdown. When you run that hard, guys do whatever they can to get a guy down and sometimes they grab onto the face mask. The helmet-to-helmets, those are tight windows. Christian runs really good routes and our quarterback’s putting it in tight areas and those guys are committed to trying to stop it. And when that happens, it’s really hard to do without doing that. So when you’ve got such a really great player like Christian who’s fearless, guys are doing everything they can to try to stop him and sometimes when they do that, they get penalties for it.”

Shanahan said McCaffrey came out of Week 5 without any issues. 

“Yeah, as far as my knowledge,” Shanahan said. “Talking to him after the game, he was all right and then I got no reports from the training staff today. But yeah, they were bringing it. They were ready for that game and they hit hard. They didn’t shy away from anything and it was very similar to how they were when we played him in the playoffs last year.”

  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano notes not to sleep on the idea of the 49ers making a major impact trade if the right opportunity comes along before the trade deadline. 
  • The 49ers also called newly-signed Bills CB Josh Norman about joining their practice squad earlier this month. (Ryan O’Halloran)


Rams HC Sean McVay felt trading WR Van Jefferson to the Falcons was accommodating both sides after Jefferson played only two snaps last week.

He’s a really capable player,” McVay said, via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “Even when I said to you guys the other day, I didn’t anticipate him playing two snaps, but I think he felt like those opportunities would be better for him. He’s in the last year of his contract and that was something that felt like we were kind of able to accommodate both sides.

McVay said the opportunity for Jefferson in Atlanta was enticing for him, but declined to say whether or not Jefferson approached the team asking for a trade.

When I look at it, I look at it as a lot of success for Van Jefferson [during his time in L.A.] and it just so happened that with 12 games remaining in the regular season, an opportunity arose for him with another team that there was something enticing about that for him,” McVay said. “[It] felt like it kind of lined up with some of the health and the depth of our receiver room and that was ultimately what led to it.”

McVay added that trading Jefferson was an endorsement of where they felt WR Cooper Kupp is at in his recovery.

I thought it was good to be able to see him go out there and play a full game’s workload and come out feeling good,” McVay said. “I only think he’s going to continue to get more and more comfortable as he acclimates to playing more games and more snaps.”


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