Christian McCaffrey

Panthers Place RB Christian McCaffrey On IR

Christian McCaffrey is set to miss at least three more games. The Panthers announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve placed their star running back on injured reserve.

This is a tough blow for the Panthers. McCaffrey hasn’t played since he exited his Week 3 contest with a hamstring injury. The Panthers’ initial decision to not place their starting RB on injured reserve provided some optimism that the player would be back sooner than later. Considering the three-week IR requirement, some even assumed the 25-year-old would be back on the field this weekend considering he’s already missed two games.

Alas, we found out yesterday that McCaffrey wouldn’t play tomorrow against the Vikings. Now, thanks to today’s move, the versatile offensive weapon won’t see the field until at least the team’s matchup against the Patriots on November 7.

Following a historic 2019 campaign that saw him finish with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, the Panthers made McCaffrey the highest-paid RB in the NFL when they gave him a four-year, $64MM deal. However, the RB was limited to only three games last season, and he completed only two games in 2021 before suffering another injury. Through two-plus games this year, McCaffrey has collected 364 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 68 carries.

With McCaffrey still out of the lineup, the team will continue relying on rookie fourth-round pick Chuba Hubbard as their top running back. The fill-in had the best game of his rookie campaign in Week 5, finishing with 134 yards from scrimmage.

The Panthers made a handful of additional moves today, including placing rookie offensive lineman Deonte Brown on IR. The team also signed guard Michael Jordan to the active roster, and they promoted punter Ryan Winslow and running back Spencer Brown from the taxi squad.

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Panthers Won’t Put Christian McCaffrey On IR

Good news for Christian McCaffrey. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule says his injured hamstring won’t require a stint on the injured reserve list (Twitter link via Darin Gantt of the team website).

This means that CMC could return in less than three games, which would have been the minimum stint on IR. The Panthers are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year, when the running back missed all but three games with a shoulder injury. When healthy, there are few playmakers quite like McCaffrey.

In 2019, CMC set the league on fire with 2,392 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. And, through his two games-and-change this year, McCaffrey looked sharp with 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown, plus 16 grabs for 163 yards.

Meanwhile, cornerback Jaycee Horn will likely land on the IR list now that he’s set for surgery on his broken foot. In a best case scenario, Horn could still return towards the end of the season. In the meantime, he’ll be replaced by newcomer C.J. Henderson, a highly-touted first rounder from just last year.

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Latest On Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey

The Panthers expect Christian McCaffrey to miss the next few weeks of action (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). On the plus side, the team not planning to put the running back on injured reserve, which means that he could miss less than three games. 

[RELATED: Surgery For Panthers’ Horn?]

McCaffrey pulled his hamstring on Thursday night and still managed to run the ball out of play before heading to the locker room. The Panthers went on to beat the Texans, but it’s a bad blow to the offense moving forward. For now, Chuba Hubbard figures to see an uptick in work.

CMC was limited to only three games in 2020 after suffering a shoulder injury. It was a disappointing setback, on the heels of his historic 2019 with 2,392 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. Through two games this year, McCaffrey looked sharp with 324 yards from scrimmage off of 59 totes. The 25-year-old added another 40 total yards on nine carries before his early exit las night.

Hubbard, a rookie fourth-round pick, only saw 26 offensive snaps in Weeks 1 and 2. The team is also rostering Royce Freeman on the active roster, and they could turn to practice squad backs Rodney Smith or Spencer Brown for additional depth.

Besides CMC, the Panthers are also awaiting additional word on cornerback Jaycee Horn. They’ll know more after Horn undergoes testing today, but it sounds like he’ll need surgery on his foot. That’ll rule him out for the bulk of the season, if not the rest of the campaign.

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Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey Exits Game With Injury

Christian McCaffrey is out for the rest of tonight’s game against the Texans. The running back left the game during the second quarter of tonight’s contest and will not return, according to the broadcast (and passed along by ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter).

The star running back is dealing with a hamstring injury, according to the team. McCaffrey bounced on and off the field for much of the first quarter-plus, and he remained in the medical tent for some time after exiting during the second quarter.

Following a historic 2019 campaign where McCaffrey finished with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, the running back was limited to only three games in 2020 after suffering a shoulder injury. He looked fully recovered through the first two weeks of the 2021 season, collecting 324 yards from scrimmage on 59 carries. The 25-year-old had another 40 all-purpose yards on nine touches before leaving tonight’s game.

McCaffrey‘s absence may end up being inconsequential during Thursday’s game against the lowly Texans. However, it will be tough for the surprising Panthers to overcome a long-term McCaffrey absence. Chuba Hubbard is next in line for carries, but the rookie fourth-round pick has only seen time in 26 offensive snaps through two weeks. The team is also rostering Royce Freeman on the active roster, and they could turn to practice squad backs Rodney Smith or Spencer Brown.

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Contract Restructures: Panthers, Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Eagles, Steelers

It’s that time of year when teams are frantically maneuvering ahead of free agency. Due to the cap falling because of COVID-19, things are even more hectic than ever. We’ve seen a whole bunch of contract restructures come in, and there will be a whole lot more. Let’s catch you up on the latest batch and their financial implications:

  • The Panthers restructured Christian McCaffrey‘s contract recently, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. They converted $7MM of his $8MM base salary into a signing bonus, which freed up about $5.6MM in cap space for 2021. Almost a year ago McCaffrey signed his record-breaking extension that has him locked up through the 2025 season.
  • The Cowboys have had a busy week with Dak Prescott‘s massive extension now in the books, and they made a trio of moves to help clear some space. Dallas restructured the deals of Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins, a source told Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The reworking of the three offensive linemen’s contracts cleared up about $17MM in cap space for Jerry Jones. As Archer notes, these moves have now gotten Dallas under the cap for 2021.
  • The Giants just cut top offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler as they look to clear cap space to keep guys like defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. The Zeitler release isn’t the only shuffling they’re doing, as they also restructured the contract of tight end Levine Toilolo, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweeted the details. Rather than a procedural restructure like you see with star players, Toilolo actually took a pay-cut to stay with the team. He had been scheduled to make $2.95MM this year but agreed to reduce that to $1.6MM, saving the Giants north of $1MM against the cap.
  • We’ve got four other restructures to pass along, courtesy of this tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Saints restructured the deals of safety Malcolm Jenkins to save $3.4MM and offensive lineman Andrus Peat to save $6MM. New Orleans has the worst cap situation in the league, and they desperately needed moves like this to do things like franchise tag safety Marcus Williams.
  • The Eagles saved $2.4MM by reworking the deal of offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo. Philly is right up there with New Orleans in terms of bad cap situations, so GM Howie Roseman is likely far from done here.
  • The Steelers saved $880K by adjusting fullback Derek Watt‘s contract. Not exactly front page news here, but it should shore up Watt’s spot on the 2021 roster. T.J. and J.J.’s brother signed a three-year, $9.75MM pact last offseason.

McCaffrey Expected To Miss Week 14

The opening week of most fantasy football playoffs is on track to commence without Christian McCaffrey involvement. Matt Rhule said Thursday he does not expect the All-Pro running back to play Sunday, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.

McCaffrey is dealing with his third known injury of the season. He suffered a quadriceps injury during the Panthers’ bye week and aggravated it Wednesday in practice. Rhule added the “at this time” caveat regarding McCaffrey’s status to face the Broncos, but Wednesday’s setback appears to have been significant. Prior to this new injury development, Rhule expected McCaffrey to return this week.

While McCaffrey wants to return this season, it would not surprise to see the Panthers hold him out after this injury-plagued year. If nothing else, this season has spared the 24-year-old star back some touches. After logging an NFL-most 403 in 2019, McCaffrey has just 76 this season.

Ankle, shoulder and quad maladies have limited McCaffrey to three games this season. Following his league-high 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 TDs in 2019, the Panthers signed McCaffrey to a running back-record four-year, $64MM extension. He has been unable to stay on the field consistently enough to make an impact in Joe Brady‘s offense.

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NFC South Notes: Panthers, Brown, Brady

Previously slated to return in Week 14, Christian McCaffrey has run into another setback. The All-Pro Panthers running back suffered a quadriceps injury during the team’s bye week, and Matt Rhule said it tightened up during Wednesday’s practice, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. Rhule pointed to an offsite workout for the cause of McCaffrey’s latest malady, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. A high ankle sprain and a shoulder ailment have limited McCaffrey to just three games this season. Rhule said earlier this week McCaffrey was set to play against the Broncos on Sunday. This latest update could change that status. Given McCaffrey’s long-term importance to the Panthers, it would not exactly surprise at this juncture if the team opted to hold him out for the rest of the season. But it is too early to tell on that front, and Rhule said Wednesday that McCaffrey wants to return as soon as possible.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • The Panthers placed eight players on their reserve/COVID-19 list this week after two tested positive for the coronavirus. This appears to have stemmed from an outside gathering of players, with NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills indicating a bye-week gathering led to the virus cases, via Person (on Twitter). Seven of those players — including starters Shaq Thompson, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Derrick Brown — remain on Carolina’s COVID list.
  • Antonio Brown should be in the clear on finishing the 2020 season, and a recent change for his civil trial date could affect his 2021 free agency. A Florida judge moved the Buccaneers wide receiver’s trial date — for a civil case stemming from Britney Taylor’s rape allegation — to Dec. 6, 2021, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The NFL suspended Brown eight games this season, but Taylor’s allegation did not factor into that ban. The Taylor suit threatens to lead to another Brown ban, but that issue will be tabled for a while.
  • Tom Brady‘s assimilation to Bruce Arians‘ offense has not gone especially smoothly, despite the future Hall of Famer’s sporadic success in his first Bucs season. Particularly, the bevy of deep passes Arians’ offense calls for have resulted in Brady struggling as of late. From Weeks 8-11, Brady was just 5% (1-for-19) on passes that traveled 20-plus yards in the air, and ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine notes the Bucs staff had discussed adjusting the offense before their bye week. Arians said recently coverage recognition, and not ability, contributed more to Brady’s deep-ball issues. It will be interesting to see if the staff made larger-scale changes to the offense during the bye, considering Brady’s penchant for quick-strike, shorter passes. The Bucs, who have lost back-to-back games, will face the Vikings on Sunday.
  • The Falcons are set to interview Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot for their GM post. One of three known candidates to succeed Thomas Dimitroff, Fontenot has been with the Saints for more than 15 years.

Latest On Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule says Christian McCaffrey remains week-to-week with an injured shoulder. But, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that he’s pretty unlikely to play this week against the Vikings.

McCaffrey has barely been on the field this year, thanks to his injured shoulder and his previous ankle issue. Up until 2020, CMC had perfect attendance for the Panthers. With the playoffs likely out of reach, the Panthers’ decision on McCaffrey’s status will involve more than just his present condition. The star running back — recently signed to a whopping four-year, $64MM extension – could theoretically be held out with an eye on next year. The Panthers haven’t addressed such a scenario on record, however.

Mike Davis has done a solid job in McCaffrey’s stead, averaging 4.0 yards per carry on the year. His last outing — 64 yards on 19 carries — was less productive than usual, but the Panthers still cruised past the Lions by a score of 20-0, thanks in part to Davis’ early one-yard touchdown.

The Panthers have a Week 13 bye coming up, which could allow for CMC to return on Dec. 13 vs. the Broncos.

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Panthers Rule Out Christian McCaffrey

The Panthers have officially ruled out Christian McCaffrey for Sunday’s game against the Lions. This was the expected move as CMC continues to nurse an injured shoulder. 

The good news is that McCaffrey’s season is not believed to be in jeopardy, though the Panthers will have to sort out the risk/reward of putting their franchise player on the field in the midst of a losing season. So far, he’s appeared in just three games in 2020 thanks to an ankle injury and his latest shoulder issue. Up until this season, McCaffrey had perfect attendance through his first three pro seasons.

In the seven games that McCaffrey has missed, Mike Davis has served as the Panthers’ lead back. That’ll be the plan once again when they face Detroit on Sunday. In CMC’s three games on the field, he’s totaled 59 carries for 225 yards and five rushing TDs, plus 17 catches for 149 yards and one receiving TD. Of course, this isn’t the encore that he had in mind. In 2019, McCaffrey 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 en route to a record-breaking four-year, $64MM extension.

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Latest On Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey

After getting a second opinion on his injured shoulder, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has been told that he may be able to play next week against the Lions, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). That’s excellent news for CMC, who was previously thought to be facing a much more serious issue. 

[RELATED: CMC Suffers Shoulder Injury]

McCaffrey will be sidelined for Sunday against the Bucs, but it no longer sounds like his season is in jeopardy. It’s safe to say that he’s eager to get back on the field — McCaffrey has appeared in just three games this year thanks to an ankle injury and his latest shoulder malady. All in all, he’s got 59 carries for 225 yards and five rushing TDs on the year, plus 17 grabs for 149 yards and one score through the air. Before this, McCaffrey had perfect attendance through his first three pro seasons.

Without CMC, the Panthers will continue to rely on Mike Davis as their primary running back. The veteran has done pretty well with the first-string unit, racking up 353 yards off of 85 carries plus 43 catches for 278 receiving yards. The Panthers will need Davis to be at his best this week in order to beat the Bucs and snap their four-game losing streak.

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