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.
August 30th, 2021 at 12:31pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
We’ve got another trade to report! Not too long after the Bills dealt Darryl Johnson to the Panthers, the Giants and Bengals have pulled off an interesting swap. New York has agreed to trade defensive lineman B.J. Hill, head coach Joe Judge announced to the media on Monday.
Right after Judge said Hill would be traded, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted that it was to the Bengals for offensive lineman Billy Price. The Bengals will also get a conditional seventh-round pick in the deal, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News notes in a tweet. In a follow-up tweet, Rapoport notes that Price has been a “key name” in trade talks recently, and that the Giants were searching for O-line depth.
Price wasn’t the only Bengals lineman on the block, as Albert Breer of SI.com tweets that Cincy also had discussions about guard Michael Jordan. He adds that the Jaguars joined the Giants as teams calling around about interior offensive line help this week.
A former first-rounder, Price was the 18th overall pick back in 2018. Cincinnati declined his fifth-year option this past offseason, meaning he’ll be a free agent after this season. The Ohio State product never lived up to his draft status, and could benefit from the change in scenery.
He was Cincy’s starter at center as a rookie, then moved to guard and only started eight games in 2019. This past season he was mostly a reserve, only starting one game. Hill was a third-round pick back in 2018, and also declined after his rookie year.
In his first pro season he had 5.5 sacks while starting 12 games, but over the past two years he’s had just two total sacks while being reduced to a rotational role. It makes sense for both sides, with each addressing an area of need.
After losing starters Clint Boling and Jonah Williams this offseason, the Bengals will have another new first-stringer up front. They are set to bench center Billy Price, a 2018 first-round pick, for veteran Trey Hopkins, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweets. This marks a setback in Price’s development. The Ohio State alum struggled as a rookie, playing in only 10 games and grading as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-worst full-time center. A sixth-year UDFA who has made 21 Bengals starts over the past two seasons, Hopkins fared better in 589 snaps in 2018. He graded as PFF’s No. 21 snapper and will parlay that into a Week 1 job.
Additionally, Price’s former Ohio State teammate, fourth-round rookie guard Michael Jordan, will be Cincinnati’s left guard starter. Should an injury befall Hopkins, Jordan or starting left guard John Miller, Dehner adds (via Twitter) Price will return to center.
Here is the latest out of southwest Ohio:
Darqueze Dennard is expected to begin the season on the Bengals’ reserve/PUP list, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. The recently re-signed cornerback underwent knee surgery before re-upping with the Bengals. While the team knew Dennard would need surgery after re-signing him, it is certainly a bad sign when a player on a one-year deal will be out at least six regular-season games. Dennard signed for $4.5MM in March.
A.J. Green will join Dennard in being out for the start of the season, and it’s uncertain when the perennial Pro Bowl wideout will return. But Hobson adds the Bengals will still attempt to extend Green, who is entering his age-31 season. The Bengals already extended Tyler Boyd. Earlier this offseason, Green expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati after his 2019 contract year. But that was before he suffered an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out of multiple September games.
While Green recovers, a rookie UDFA will take his place. Damion Willis will start alongside Boyd, Zac Taylor said (via Dehner, on Twitter). Willis was part of Cincinnati’s initial post-draft free agent class, signing with the team out of Troy. He has certainly enjoyed a standout preseason.