Christian McCaffrey is out for at least the next three games on injured reserve.
The Carolina Panthers are off to a brutal 0-2 start to the 2020 season. The word “brutal” is used here because the team saw superstar running back Christian McCaffrey go down with an ankle injury in Week 2.
The initial report said McCaffrey would miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. He came out and said he will work his hardest to return as soon as possible. The Panthers have decided to make it at least three weeks by placing him on injured reserve Wednesday afternoon.
McCaffrey gets time to recover
The new injured reserve rules for 2020 allow teams to put a player on the list for only three weeks. That was put in place for COVID-19 reasons, but works for short-term injuries as well. This was the obvious move given the 4-6 week timetable for his return.
McCaffrey rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season before his injury. That came on 41 attempts. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel was next with five attempts. Now the attention turns to Mike Davis, who has one rushing attempt this season.
Life without McCaffrey is rare territory for the Panthers since 2017. He has not missed a game since debuting in 2017 and is the focal point for the entire offense. Now the Panthers will see how Teddy Bridgewater can carry the offense without his star in the backfield.
The Panthers are on the road in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Dropping to 0-3 would not eliminate the Panthers from the playoffs, but it would put the team in quite the deep hole with a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals waiting in Week 4.
McCaffrey is officially out for at least three games. The Panthers have to adapt or watch the season go down in flames.