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49ers running back Jerick McKinnon suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday’s practice during team drills, according to Ian Rapoport. McKinnon tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
#49ers big free agent pickup and starting RB Jerick McKinnon suffered a torn ACL today, source said. His season is over.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2018
“He made a cut on air,” Kyle Shanahan told reporters prior to the MRI. “(He) went down. It looked awkward. We’re concerned about it.”
The 49ers signed McKinnon to a four-year deal with $11.7 million in March, seemingly securing their workhorse back in Shanahan’s outside-zone running offense for the foreseeable future.
McKinnon spent the first four seasons of his NFL career as a third-down option in Minnesota. He viewed his new situation in San Francisco as an opportunity prove he can make it as a featured back.
“It’s big for me,” McKinnon said in March. “It was what I was hoping to have, hoping and looking for. Staying in Minnesota and being in that third-down back role all the time, I was really looking for an opportunity.”
The 49ers will turn to Matt Breida and recently acquired Alfred Morris, assuming he makes the 53-man roster, to shoulder the load at running back.