© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA – Jerick McKinnon might never play a game for the San Francisco 49ers. That unfortunate reality came further into focus on Saturday, as McKinnon was placed on season-ending injured reserve according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. While the move is a disappointment for all parties involved, it’s no surprise.
League source: The #49ers are placing RB Jerick McKinnon on season-ending injured reserve.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 31, 2019
McKinnon simply could not get healthy this offseason. He suffered a “flare up” in his knee before the preseason began and was placed on the physically unable to perform list; somewhere, in hindsight, he should have remained. When McKinnon did return to practice August 6, he fell victim to virtually the same fate. He had a plasma-rich platelet injection in the knee after dealing with severe soreness and rested for about two weeks.
When McKinnon did return to practice on Tuesday, it was with a knee brace on for the first time. The following day, general manager John Lynch said on KNBR that McKinnon had suffered yet another setback. At that point, it became clear that McKinnon was likely going to be placed on season-ending IR as opposed to IR-return designation.
The latter would have required the 49ers to cut another player. It would have allowed McKinnon to return by Week 9, something which seemed doubtful. Now, at least, McKinnon can have another procedure done if necessary, and work to fully recover for next year.