Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to be sidelined for “multiple weeks,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The early hope on Sunday was that CMC’s ankle injury was not especially serious. Now, it sounds like McCaffrey will be a candidate for the injured reserve list. The expectation is that he’ll be out for the next 4-6 weeks, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).
McCaffrey turned his right ankle during Sunday’s contest against the Bucs, capping his day with 18 carries for just 49 yards. Afterwards, the Panthers turned to Mike Davis, who finished the game with eight catches for 74 yards. Davis is a solid understudy who drew rave reviews throughout camp, but the Panthers will obviously miss having CMC, who is the focal point of their offense.
Although the Panthers fell short in their season opener, McCaffrey was his usual stellar self. After coming just shy of 100 yards rushing and averaging ~13 yards per reception on three grabs, there was little doubt that the 24-year-old was setting himself up for another elite season. The Panthers are counting on more big performances from McCaffrey after he inked his record-breaking four-year, $64MM deal in the offseason.
Even in a down 2019 for the Panthers, McCaffrey still managed 1,387 rushing yards off of 287 carries, giving him an average of 4.8 yards per tote. He also caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards through the air. All combined, he notched 19 touchdowns on the year.
If McCaffrey misses the next six weeks, he’ll be absent for games against the Chargers, Cardinals, Falcons (twice), Bears, and Saints.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.