Panthers HC Ron Rivera told ESPN's David Newton that he "wouldn't be surprised" if RB Christian McCaffrey reached 200 carries this season. McCaffrey toted it just 117 times as a rookie last year but still ranked 9th among RBs in PPR points thanks to his 80 receptions. If McCaffrey gets anywhere close to 200 carries this season, he'll be a shoo-in for another top 10 finish. He put on about 5 pounds this offseason to get to 210 in preparation for a bigger workload. Remember that McCaffrey carried 590 times over his final 2 college seasons, so he's proven capable of handling big rushing volume.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera suggested that he'll consider limiting RB Christian McCaffrey's workload in this weekend's finale, saying "we need to be smart." There was no sign of that in Week 16, with CMC playing 90% of the snaps, carrying 21 times and seeing 13 targets. We'll keep an eye on the situation the rest of the week.
For the 2nd straight preseason game, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey saw feature-back usage on Friday night. He handled 10 of the 13 RB opportunities (carries + targets) with QB Cam Newton and the 1st-team offense. The other 3 went to C.J. Anderson. McCaffrey finished with 92 yards on 5 carries -- highlighted by this 71-yard TD -- and 28 more yards on 4 catches. He's now played 28 of 35 first-team snaps (80%) through 2 preseason games. This all follows both HC Ron Rivera and OC Norv Turner talking up McCaffrey's workload this year. While we're not expecting him to be a 300-carry guy, it looks like he's set for a big increase over last year's 117 attempts. We just moved McCaffrey up the RB rankings.
The Panthers have fired OC Mike Shula. He's been with the team since 2011, spending the past 5 seasons as OC. Carolina ranked in the top half of the league in total yards in just 2 of those 5 years, including 19th-place finishes the past 2 seasons. We'll see who the Panthers tab to replace Shula. We're especially curious to see what kind of role the new guy envisions for RB Christian McCaffrey, who caught 80 balls but carried just 117 times as a rookie.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the Saints. There's been nothing to suggest that the shoulder will be a factor. Use McCaffrey as you normally would.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Panthers expect RB Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) to play against the Saints today. McCaffrey is questionable after missing Wednesday's practice but returning for the next 2 days. Use him as you normally would for Week 13.
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