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49ers expected to place RB Jerick McKinnon on IR

Luckily for the San Francisco 49ers their backfield is deep because they will be without Jerick McKinnon for at least most, if not all of the regular season.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Niners are expected to place the running back on injured reserve, per sources informed of the move.

What isn't clear yet is whether it's season-ending IR or whether he'll be eligible to return. If San Francisco places McKinnon on IR before Saturday's cutdown deadline (4 p.m. ET) his season is over. If, however, they carry him on their final 53-man roster and then place him on IR, he'd be eligible to return after eight weeks, if healthy.

The 49ers signed McKinnon to a 4-year, $30 million contract last offseason picturing shifty back as an ideal weapon in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Unfortunately, we've never seen the former Minnesota Vikings running back in Shanahan's offense.

The 27-year-old suffered a torn ACL last year and missed the entire season. McKinnon looked poised for a return to a crowded backfield but recently suffered a setback to his surgically repaired knee. Rapoport noted that he might have a procedure to fix the issue.

Shanahan will ride forward with two good backs. The Niners plucked dual-threat Tevin Coleman from free agency for a bargain -- a move that looks even better after McKinnon's setback -- and still have underrated Matt Breida, who runs like a hornet on a hunt.

McKinnon's injury news is a bummer, but at least for the 49ers, it came at a position of depth.

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