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Christian McCaffrey runs with the ball
Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers carries the ball against the then-Washington Football Team | Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

If the Carolina Panthers want to capitalize on their 2022 NFL schedule, they’re going to need a healthy and effective version of Christian McCaffrey.

The dual-threat running back was incredible in 2019, rushing for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 116 catches for 1,005 yards and another four scores through the air. But injuries have kept him off the field and diminished his effectiveness even when he does line up in the backfield, and he was actually the subject of some trade rumors this offseason, on the heels of a two-year stretch in which his total yards (1,159) were less than half of what he produced in 2019 alone (2,392).

If McCaffrey is back to his peak self, that’ll make life easier for whoever lines up under center, whether that’s the perpetually disappointing Sam Darnold or Matt Corral, who was one of the most notable members of Carolina’s 2022 draft class.

That said, the Panthers still have a long upward climb back to prominence while coming off a 5-12 season.

2022 Carolina Panthers Schedule

1vs. Cleveland BrownsSunday, Sept. 111:00 p.m. ETCBS
2@ New York GiantsSunday, Sept. 181:00 p.m. ETFOX
3vs. New Orleans SaintsSunday, Sept. 251:00 p.m. ETFOX
4vs. Arizona CardinalsSunday, Oct. 24:05 p.m. ETFOX
5vs. San Francisco 49ersSunday, Oct. 94:05 p.m. ETCBS
6@ Los Angeles RamsSunday, Oct. 164:05 p.m. ETFOX
7vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, Oct. 231:00 p.m. ETFOX
8@ Atlanta FalconsSunday, Oct. 301:00 p.m. ETFOX
9@ Cincinnati BengalsSunday, Nov. 61:00 p.m. ETFOX
10vs. Atlanta FalconsThursday, Nov. 108:15 p.m. ETPrime Video
11@ Baltimore RavensSunday, Nov. 201:00 p.m. ETFOX
12vs. Denver BroncosSunday, Nov. 271:00 p.m. ETFOX
13Bye WeekN/AN/AN/A
14@ Seattle SeahawksSunday, Dec. 114:25 p.m. ETFOX
15vs. Pittsburgh SteelersSunday, Dec. 181:00 p.m. ETCBS
16vs. Detroit LionsSaturday, Dec. 241:00 p.m. ETFOX
17@ Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, Jan. 11:00 p.m. ETFOX
18@ New Orleans SaintsTBDTBDTBD

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