Thursday Night Football got overshadowed in the NFL by one of the biggest in-season trades in recent memory.
The move both frees one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL from a struggling offense and makes a 49ers offense with plenty of weapons even more formidable.
The main reaction around the NFL has been that, even though the 49ers lost starting quarterback Trey Lance to an injury earlier this season, they immediately become one of the teams to beat in the NFC. The 49ers already have a multi-purpose weapon who Kyle Shanahan has found creative ways to use in Deebo Samuel.
While Samuel is a wide receiver who has shown an ability to carry the ball out of the backfield, McCaffrey is one of the most prolific pass-catching running backs in NFL history. McCaffrey has multiple 100-catch seasons to his name and is one of five running backs in league history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
There have been plenty of jokes about McCaffrey, who has missed significant time in each of the past two seasons due to injuries, immediately getting hurt again once he joins a 49ers backfield that has seen more than its fair share of injuries the past few years.
But most are optimistic that McCaffrey can thrive in a healthier offense. The Panthers, who fired head coach Matt Rhule after Week Five, rank last in the NFL in total offense.
McCaffrey could make his 49ers debut as soon as Sunday, when the 49ers host the Kansas City Chiefs, although it might be more likely that he waits until they face the Los Angeles Rams the following week.
Either way, McCaffrey in San Francisco should be fun to watch.