The Carolina Panthers were dealt a significant blow after star running back Christian McCaffrey suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 action. The Panthers have remained cautious around the situation as McCaffrey holds the franchise’s future in his hands. That said, Carolina has provided a promising update on his health status for his return.
Christian McCaffrey suffers ankle injury
The Panthers dropped to an 0-2 start to the 2020 season after falling 31-17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was more than a loss for Carolina as star running back Christian McCaffrey suffered an ankle injury. The ailment occurred after scoring his seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Following the game, McCaffrey attempted to quiet down the concerns by stating that he was fine physically.
However, it was revealed that McCaffrey would miss the next four-to-six week due to the injury. It’s a significant blow to the Panthers as he has demonstrated to be one of the game’s best running backs. He has become the clear-cut centerpiece of their offensive game plan behind his dual-threat ability.
McCaffrey’s absence has left a massive void for Carolina to fill to remain a competitive team. With that in mind, the Panthers have provided an update on his return status this season.
Christian McCaffrey nearing his return
The Panthers have spent the last two games without Christian McCaffrey leading the charge in the backfield.
Carolina has rolled forward with the notion that their star running back will soon be back in the fold. Head coach Matt Rhule voiced this weekend in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that the team envisions him back in the fold in the next “couple of weeks.”
“I think Christian is a couple of weeks away. He’s attacking his rehab and he’s getting better and better, but we owe it to him. We are not going to bring him back until he’s 100%.”
The original timetable was four-to-six weeks, which these remarks make it seem it could put him at the front end of that spectrum. The Panthers won’t rush McCaffrey back before he’s ready, but it’s clear that he’s making progress and could be playing at some in the next few weeks.
The All-Pro running back initially voiced that he wanted to work his way through the injury well ahead of the expected timeline. It’s on McCaffrey to showcase to the Panthers that he has fully healed from his ailment.
Panthers’ game plan without their star running back
The Panthers have been able to right the ship despite Christian McCaffrey being sidelined for an extended period.
That has seen Mike Davis step up and excel as the lead back as he’s coming off a strong showing in the Week 4 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Davis notched 84 rushing yards on 16 attempts and a touchdown with five catches for 27 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The veteran running back has proven to be an effective option as he has produced well in a significant offensive role. The Panthers will move forward with Davis guiding their running game. His performance takes the pressure off Teddy Bridgewater to guide the offense with his arm.
Bridgewater has picked up his play in the last two weeks as he’s shown more comfort guiding Carolina’s offense. He’s coming off a strong outing with 276 passing yards with a pair of touchdowns and 32 rushing yards with a touchdown. The Panthers will need Bridgewater and Davis to continue to lead the charge while McCaffrey remains on the mend.