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49ers: Highlights from head coach Kyle Shanahan’s conference call on Monday

The San Francisco 49ers enter the final week of the regular season with some breathing room after securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 27-10 win over the Washington Commanders and the Arizona Cardinals’ 35-31 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

For San Francisco, the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Rams will be a low-stakes game as the 49ers turn their attention to getting healthy ahead of the NFC Divisional Round.

Here are three highlights from head coach Kyle Shanahan’s conference call on Monday:

Running back Christian McCaffrey will be out this week against the Rams. The 49ers’ star running back surpassed 2,000 scrimmage yards on Sunday after collecting 14 carries for 64 yards on the ground and four more receptions for 27 yards through the air against Washington.

He left Sunday’s game early, and the team turned to Elijah Mitchell to lead a fast-paced attack in the second half.

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Shanahan said McCaffrey was suffering from a “mild calf injury” and would miss the regular season finale due to the injury.

“We’re really confident (McCaffrey will be ready for the playoffs),” Shanahan said. «It was good news.

It could have been much worse. We are happy and will take care of him this week. I hope he can start our bye week.

The head coach also shared the injury status of players who suffered injuries in Week 17 as well as players who were sidelined against the Commanders.

RB Christian McCaffrey (calf strain): Lost for Week 18

CB Ambry Thomas (hand): will have surgery on Tuesday for a broken hand and will be out for week 18

TE Ross Dwelley (high ankle sprain): I probably won’t be ready to start this week

DL Arik Armstead (foot/knee): Will miss Week 18 to prepare him for the playoffs

WR Jauan Jennings (concussion): still in concussion protocol

T Jaylon Moore (concussion): Still in concussion protocol

S Ji’Ayir Brown (knee sprain): Continue knee rehab, chances to play in Week 18 unclear

WR Ray-Ray McCloud III: IR practice window opens this week

Shanahan and the coaching staff are working to determine their approach to playing time in Week 18 with the NFC’s No. 1 seed assured.

With several 49ers players injured, there will likely be different personnel configurations and different snap counts for starters in the coming week as San Francisco attempts to position itself for success in an extended season.

McCaffrey has already been ruled out after suffering a mild calf strain and you should expect to see other playmakers either join him on the sidelines or see their playing time reduced against the Rams.

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Maintaining momentum through the divisional round with home-field advantage and a first-round bye while getting healthy and working within the confines of a 53-man roster becomes a difficult task for the coaching staff.

“No one has been identified at this time,” Shanahan said. “I’m still discussing this with the coaches and trying to figure out what’s best for us.

I will probably discuss this with these players as well. “There are not as many people like that as you might think.”

It’s a hard thing to do, and it’s not always the best thing to do. We’re going to take everything into account, so it’s something we are going to continue to talk about through this day and tomorrow.”

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