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Did Kyle Shanahan once babysit Christian McCaffrey?

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Sunday's clash between the Panthers and 49ers will offer a flurry of high-octane confrontations.

Brian Hoyer vs. Luke Kuechly; Cam Newton vs. San Francisco's frisky front seven; and Christian McCaffrey vs. his childhood babysitter.

That's right. Before the Panthers rookie running back was busy carving up stunned secondaries, McCaffrey might have toyed with Legos under the careful watch of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

"We go way back to when I was little," McCaffrey said Wednesday, per the Bay Area News Group. "I think he babysat me some times."

Shanahan seemed to recall the same, referring back to a period in the late 1990s when his father Mike coached McCaffrey's dad, wideout Ed McCaffrey, during their time together with the Broncos.

"If I did [babysit him], I probably left my sister to do it very quickly and moved on. His dad was my hero growing up," Shanahan said. "I was close with Ed and his wife Lisa -- that's really why I wore 87 in college. Ed was the man. I knew all his sons, they're a lot younger when I knew them, but they've all turned out be pretty good athletes and real good people."

We'd like to get a triple source here, considering neither McCaffrey or Shanahan offered rock-solid confirmation of a babysitting arrangement. Around The NFL is working the phones on this case and will update this space if and when we learn more.

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