Jerick McKinnon still hasn’t been cleared to practice for the 49ers

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) Jerick McKinnon
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) Jerick McKinnon /

The former Minnesota Vikings running back is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered prior to the start of the 2018 NFL season.

Back in 2017, Jerick McKinnon played a big part in the success of the Minnesota Vikings. After Dalvin Cook was lost for the season, McKinnon and fellow Vikings running back Latavius Murray combined to help the team finish with the seventh-best rushing attack in the NFL.

Following his fourth year in Minnesota, McKinnon became a free agent in 2018. The Vikings ended up not retaining the young running back and he eventually agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

No longer with Minnesota, McKinnon was expected to emerge as the lead back for the 49ers in 2018. That was until he, unfortunately, tore his ACL eight days before the start of the regular season.

Fast forward to now, almost eight months after suffering his injury, and McKinnon still has not been cleared by San Francisco’s doctors to practice with the team. However, the former Vikings running back is expected to be cleared by the time the 49ers’ training camp begins at the end of July.

Even if he is healthy enough to play in 2019, McKinnon may end up having a role in San Francisco’s offense similar to what he did during his tenure with the Vikings.

During this past offseason, the 49ers signed free agent running back Tevin Coleman. So with Coleman now in San Francisco’s backfield as well, it seems very likely that McKinnon won’t see as many snaps per game this year as he would have if he were healthy in 2018.

There is even a slight possibility of the former Minnesota running back being let go by the 49ers before the start of the upcoming season. If San Francisco decides to release McKinnon for whatever reason this year, it wouldn’t really have any sort of major impact on their current salary cap situation.

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So him not remaining on the 49ers’ roster for 2019 is certainly on the table. Especially if McKinnon’s knee injury ends up negatively affecting his performance out on the field this summer.