Christian McCaffrey will miss Week 18 against the Rams with a calf injury but return for playoffs.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that the 49ers running back would miss Sunday's Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Rams due to a slight calf injury.

McCaffrey will have three weeks to heal before the 49ers' playoff opener. The squad won the NFC's top seed on Sunday after defeating the Washington Commanders while the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Arizona Cardinals. 

They will have a first-round bye and home field advantage in the playoffs. Shanahan added the injury “could be a lot worse.”

McCaffrey departed Sunday's 27-10 win over the Commanders in the third quarter and never returned. He exited with 64 yards on 16 rushes and 27 yards on four catches.

 In the victory, he scored zero touchdowns for the third time this season. McCaffrey has a career-high 1,459 yards and 21 touchdowns, seventh in the league.

The 49ers easily beat Washington without him. Brandon Aiyuk caught a 17-yard Brock Purdy touchdown throw midway through the fourth quarter to cap the 17-point win. 

Elijah Mitchell ran for 2 yards late in the third quarter to give San Francisco a 10-point lead. The 49ers improved to 12-4 with that win.

Despite the injury's timing, McCaffrey shouldn't play Sunday. The 49ers have won everything, so resting him makes sense. If all goes well over the next three weeks, McCaffrey should play in the 49ers' first playoff game.

Watch this space for further developments.