The San Francisco 49ers had three players return to practice on Thursday just in time for a rainy afternoon workout. Running back Christian McCaffrey (knee), offensive lineman Spencer Burford (ankle) and defensive lineman Charles Omenihu (knee) were all on hand for the open portion of practice and were listed as limited participants on the team's Thursday Practice Participation report.
"It just had some knee irritation. That was pretty much it. Just making sure I was checking all the boxes to make sure everything was good," McCaffrey said. "I feel great."
The 49ers running back expects to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. With running back Elijah Mitchell out, it's likely San Francisco will turn to its younger talent and practice squad roster to provide depth in the backfield. In Week 12, rookie Jordan Mason got the bulk of the reps to end the game, closing out the day with five carries for 25 yards and lots of praise from his teammates.
"He runs hard. This whole backfield runs hard," McCaffrey added. "It's fun to watch him. I love to see a young guy come in and run like that in such a crucial time. We had the ball with six minutes left and to be able to run the clock out is a big deal. I'm happy for him."
Wideout Deebo Samuel, who is often utilized in the 49ers ground game, sat out of practice Thursday after being limited in Wednesday's workout with a quadricep injury.
The Return of Arik Armstead
The veteran defensive lineman was a limited participant for a third-straight workout and continues to trend in the right direction healthwise.
"It's good to have Armstead back out at practice," defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said. "What he's battled through to get back, it's been a long road for him... If we can have him on Sunday, of course, that's a plus for us."
Armstead has been battling separate foot and ankle injuries that have kept him out of game action since the team's Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
Thursday, he confirmed his long awaited return is set for Sunday.
"I feel great. I'm excited to get back out there," Armstead said. "I'm able to play...I'm excited to get back regardless of who we are playing. I missed a lot of time, but it's going to be a fun game against a high-powered offense. There's a lot of eyes on me in this game, top teams in the league, so definitely going to be a lot of fun playing in this one."
Rain in the Forecast for #MIAvsSF
The 49ers have had their fair share of inclement weather games in 2022 with rain coming down against the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, and Sunday is shaping up to be another rainy contest for San Francisco.
"It'll affect the game very little. I think elements are what they are - wind, rain, snow - we've played in just about everything this year," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "We're ready for the game. We practiced out there in it today, and it didn't seem too crazy. We'll deal with whatever is dealt to us."
After taking a big hit to the knee against the Saints that resulted in a roughing the passer call, Garoppolo landed on the injury report list as a full participant and reiterated his health status heading into the weekend.
"It feels great baby," the quarterback said.
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