It's been nearly two weeks since the 49ers lost to the Eagles in the NFC Championship, and although the game was a 31-7 blowout, at least one 49ers player is convinced the game might have gone a different way if every quarterback on San Francisco's roster didn't get injured in the game.
First, Brock Purdy went down with an injury, and then Josh Johnson followed suit. At that point, the 49ers were almost forced to turn to their emergency quarterback, Christian McCaffrey, for the entire second half, but instead, Kyle Shanahan decided to play Purdy, who could barely throw a forward pass after injuring his elbow.
During a Wednesday interview on Up and Adams, McCaffrey was asked about the 49ers QB situation from that game, and he said it felt like the NFC title was "stolen" because the 49ers didn't have a healthy quarterback.
"You don't want to make excuses, but it just sucks, because we wish we had a healthy quarterback for a full game and just kind of see how the game would have panned out," McCaffrey said. "It's a really good team that we played, but it feels like something got stolen from you. Just wish it would have played out differently."
The NFL used to allow teams to carry an emergency third quarterback on game day, but. McCaffrey wants to see the league bring it back.
"Hopefully they change that rule where you can carry a third quarterback," McCaffrey said.
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If the rule had been in place, the 49ers would have been able to play the second half with at least one healthy quarterback, but instead, they were stuck using a QB who was playing with a.
"It's tough to win a football game in the NFL without a quarterback, let alone the NFC Championship Game," McCaffrey told Pro Football Talk in a separate interview. "I wish they had changed the rule where you're allowed to carry three. ... I think they should change that. It's not good for us, obviously. It's not good for fans watching to not have a quarterback. I hope there's something they do with that moving forward so that you can stay in the fight."
From 1991 to 2011, each NFL team was allowed to carry an emergency third quarterback who didn't count against the 45-man active roster limit for game day. In 2011, the NFL eliminated the emergency QB rule, but the league also upped the roster limit to 46 players for game day, giving each team an extra spot to work with.
In light of the 49ers' recent issues, it wouldn't be shocking if the NFL were to revisit the emergency QB rule. Not only does McCaffrey want to see it implemented, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have also both made it clear that they.
As for McCaffrey, if you're wondering who he'll be cheering for on Super Bowl Sunday, the answer is no one.