McCaffrey, who scored a touchdown early in Cleveland, was in pain on the sideline midway through the third quarter while the team’s medical staff appeared to tend to his side. It’s unclear specifically what happened, but he later went to the blue medical tent while the 49ers' offense took the field.
McCaffery was initially ruled as questionable to return with an oblique injury as the Browns kicked a 46-yard field goal late in the quarter, which marked the 49ers’ first second-half deficit all season. He returned for the 49ers’ first play after that field goal and took a handoff, but was seen sprinting to the locker room later in the drive.
McCaffrey was then officially ruled out early in the fourth quarter.
#49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is OUT with an oblique injury.
— Lindsey Pallares (@lindseylares) October 15, 2023
McCaffrey caught a 13-yard touchdown pass on the 49ers’ opening drive, which marked his 15th straight game with a touchdown. That score tied him with O.J. Simpson (1974-75) and John Riggins (1982-83) for the second-longest streak in league history, including the playoffs. Only Lenny Moore (1963-64) had a better streak with 17 straight games.
McCaffrey entered Sunday’s game with 510 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns. He had 43 rushing yards on 11 carries when he left the game, and had 9 receiving yards on three catches.
The 49ers trailed the Browns 13-10 to start the fourth quarter, though they retook the lead after Deommodore Lenoir intercepted quarterback P.J. Walker. That pick set up an 8-yard touchdown run from Jordan Mason. San Francisco lost wide receiver Deebo Samuel earlier in the game to a shoulder injury, too.
The Browns eventually handed the 49ers their first loss of the season after San Francisco kicker Jake Moody missed a 41-yard field goal in the final seconds. Moody, who was perfect on the season entering the week, missed two field goals Sunday.
Brock Purdy went 12-of-27 for 125 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss. Mason had 27 rushing yards on five carries and had a touchdown on the ground in McCaffrey's absence. Brandon Aiyuk had 76 receiving yards on four catches.
Walker, who was playing for the injured Deshaun Watson, went 18-of-34 for 192 yards with two interceptions in the win. Kareem Hunt had 47 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and Amari Cooper had 108 receiving yards on just four catches in the win. The Browns, who fell to the Baltimore Ravens last week, are now 3-2.