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John Lynch gives latest on Deebo, explains McCaffrey’s decision to not wear Gore’s No. 21



© Cary Edmondson | 2022 Oct 23

49ers general manager John Lynch hopped on KNBR Friday and provided the latest 49ers’ injury updates, while also sharing a cool story about new San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey.

First, the news. Lynch was asked about the status of Deebo Samuel — the 49ers’ resident Rams killer — who has been unable to practice this week due to a hamstring issue.

“Well, we haven’t had him the first two days, so that’s not great,” Lynch told “Murph & Mac”. “But I can tell you that Deebo is working tirelessly. He doesn’t like missing games. He doesn’t want to miss this game. And as I’ve told you, with other top-line players, there’s certain guys where if they’re not practicing on Thursday, they’re probably out. That’s not the case with Deebo.

“Deebo’s a guy you wait [for], and that’s what we’ll continue to do, to see that he can get healthy there before [the game]. But we’re not going to put Deebo in harm’s way, either. He’s got to make up some ground, and we’ll see where that ends up at the end of the week.”

Since it’s the 49ers, of course there are other key players who may or may not be available for Sunday. Dre Greenlaw (calf) and Jauan Jennnigs (hamstring) also haven’t practiced this week, but like Samuel, are still possibilities for Sunday vs. the Rams.

“They’re not there [ruled out],” Lynch said. “None of those guys are there yet. I think they’re all questionable. None of them have practiced thus far this week, so hurting a little bit, but we’re going to try to get all of them back. So we’ll see.

“We’ve still got today’s practice. We’ve got Saturday. We’ll give those guys the full time as well to see if we can get them back. All important players to us.”

On a lighter note, Lynch talked about his new star running back, Christian McCaffrey, and what led him to landing on the No. 23. McCaffrey wore No. 22 with the Panthers, but the league now doesn’t allow players to change numbers midseason, meaning a swap with Jeff Wilson wasn’t possible.

The No. 21 was available, as it has not been officially retired but belonged to franchise legend Frank Gore. 49ers owner Jed York, who is close with Gore, said if McCaffrey wanted to wear it, he’d have to get Gore’s blessing.

McCaffrey didn’t feel it was appropriate.

“Frank Gore[‘s number] is not officially retired, but he did some pretty good things around here,” Lynch said, “and the owner is a big fan of Frank. On that one, Jed said, ‘Hey, you can have Christian reach out to Frank and see if Frank would allow it.’

“I told Christian that, and Christian said, ‘Nah, I’ve got too much respect for him. I’ll just take 23. I think I like 23 anyhow.’ Twenty-one would be cool with Frank, with Deion [Sanders], but he didn’t want to go there, and I appreciate Christian for that.”

Playing well on the field will be the best way for McCaffrey to endear himself to the faithful, but this act of respect is a good start.

Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.