Workhorse usage for McCaffrey | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

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.

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The Panthers and RB Christian McCaffrey have agreed to a 4-year, $64 million extension. That $16 million average annual salary makes CMC the league's highest-paid RB, edging out Ezekiel Elliott by a mill. Analytics folks will tell you Carolina is over-paying here (and they might be right). But at least McCaffrey is the rare RB that's dominant in both the running and passing games. He's now signed with the Panthers through the 2025 season, when he'll be 29 years old.

The Panthers have named Joe Brady their new OC. It's been a rapid rise for the 30-year-old, who spent 2017 and 2018 as an offensive assistant under Sean Payton in New Orleans and this past year as LSU's passing game coordinator. Brady won the 2019 Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football and was given a lot of credit for QB Joe Burrow's massive 5,671-yard, 60-TD campaign. It's an exciting -- albeit risky -- hire by the Panthers.

The Panthers have fired HC Ron Rivera. He's been with Carolina since 2011, compiling a 76-63-1 record with 4 playoff appearances. But the Panthers went 7-9 last year and are currently sitting at 5-7. Secondary coach Perry Fewell will take over as interim head coach, OC Norv Turner will move into an assistant role and QB coach Scott Turner will serve as OC for the final 4 games of the season. We're not expecting any tangible fantasy impacts from the moves.

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (back) isn't listed on the final Week 6 injury report. He didn't practice on Wednesday, but HC Ron Rivera said that giving CMC Wednesdays off will be the norm going forward. He put in full workouts on Thursday and Friday. Expect McCaffrey to play his usual workhorse role in London on Sunday morning.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera said that RB Christian McCaffrey's back is "a little sore" but that he's "doing just fine." CMC sat out Wednesday's practice, but Rivera said that'll be the new normal going forward. It's a smart move by the Panthers considering they've fed McCaffrey 27.2 touches per game. He remains a locked-in RB1 for Sunday's game against the Bucs.

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