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Jerick McKinnon tears ACL, out for season

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The Vikings won’t be seeing an old friend on opening day after all

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst all of the excitement and news happening Saturday on roster cutdown day, the news came out that the Minnesota Vikings’ opponent this coming Sunday has lost a pretty big piece of their offense and a name familiar to fans of the Vikings.

Our friends over at Niners Nation, among others, are reporting that running back Jerick McKinnon has torn an ACL and will miss the 2018 season.

McKinnon spent his first four seasons with the Vikings after the team made him a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. A quarterback in college at Georgia Southern, McKinnon shifted to running back and served as both a backup to Adrian Peterson, as well as part of a tandem with Matt Asiata when Peterson missed time in both 2014 and 2016. After Dalvin Cook was injured last season, McKinnon teamed with Latavius Murray in the Vikings’ backfield, and this past offseason was given a huge four-year, $30 million contract to be the primary back in San Francisco.

McKinnon had missed a portion of camp prior to Saturday with a calf injury. The reports say that McKinnon’s injury was a non-contact injury suffered on the final play of practice on Saturday. With McKinnon on the shelf, it looks like the Niners’ running game next Sunday will be a combination of Matt Breida and the newly-signed Alfred Morris.

It’s a tough break for an old friend, and hopefully McKinnon will be able to make a full recovery and be able to make an impact with the Niners in 2019.