Panthers HC Matt Rhule expects to get RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) back on the practice field on Wednesday. "Hopefully we can get Christian back soon. If it's not this week, hopefully it will be next week," Rhule said. We'll keep a close eye on McCaffrey's practice participation level this week. Don't go dropping RB Chuba Hubbard just yet, though.
The Athletic's Joe Person doesn't expect the Panthers to scale back RB Christian McCaffrey's volume this season, despite the injuries he's dealt with the last 2 years. Instead, "The Panthers plan to change their practice approach with McCaffrey, taking a lot of the reps off him during the week in the hope that the lightened workload will help him get through the season." Sign us up for that! McCaffrey didn't miss a single game across his first 3 NFL seasons and turned just 26 earlier this month. He's the odds-on favorite to lead RBs in fantasy points per game this year.
Per beat writer Joseph Person, the Carolina coaching staff has “kicked around the idea” of giving Christian McCaffrey more slot snaps. During his injury-riddled 2021, McCaffrey played only 12 snaps out of the slot (4.6%). So there’s room for a bit more work inside. Regardless of where he lines up, however, the former All-Pro will remain busy as a pass-catcher. Current projections peg McCaffrey for over 100 targets.
The Panthers named Ben McAdoo their new OC. McAdoo flamed out after just 2 seasons as the Giants' HC. But that proceeded 2 mostly successful seasons as OC. New York finished top 13 in points, total yards and passing yards in both of those years. McAdoo was a balanced play caller, with the G-Men ranking 17th and 16th in situation-neutral pass rate in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He takes over a Panthers offense that has enough talent at the skill positions but needs to find a QB.
The Panthers have placed Christian McCaffrey on IR for the 2nd time this season, following his left-ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. That automatically knocks him out for the rest of the year, since it's his 2nd IR stint. It's a surprising development after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported earlier Monday that the injury "doesn't seem major." We'll see about the specifics of the injury, but that won't really matter until we're evaluating McCaffrey for 2022 fantasy football drafts. For now, it's Chuba Hubbard back to the lead at the position in Carolina. He averaged 17.8 carries, 65.8 yards and 0.4 TDs per game rushing in 5 fill-in starts earlier this season, with another 2.6 receptions and 17.6 receiving yards per contest. The Panthers have since added RB Ameer Abdullah, who figures to steal some passing-down snaps from Hubbard the rest of the way. Abdullah has seen 4+ targets in 4 of the past 5 games, averaging 2.6 catches and 22.4 receiving yards per game over those 5 contests.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey's ankle injury "doesn't seem major," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says. That's the vibe we've gotten since CMC exited in the 1st half of Sunday's blowout loss to the Dolphins. McCaffrey is scheduled for additional testing, so we should get another update on his status later today. He gets a well-timed Week 13 bye and seemingly has a chance to be ready for Week 14.
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