It looks like the Panthers will be without one of their top weapons for a bit longer.
The team announced that running back Christian McCaffrey has landed on injured reserve, sidelining him for at least the next three weeks.
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McCaffrey played in Carolina’s first three games before going down with a hamstring injury against Houston earlier this year. So far this season, the Stanford product has 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown as well as 16 catches for 163 yards.
He has been one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL since entering the league, becoming just the third running back in history with 1,000 receiving and rushing yards in the same season. But for as good as he’s been, he’s also missed significant time each of the last two seasons, playing in just three games a year ago.
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In McCaffrey’s absence, Carolina’s running game has gone through former Oklahoma State back Chuba Hubbard, who’s amassed 220 yards on 56 carries but has yet to find the end zone. In addition to Hubbard, the Panthers have used Royce Freeman out of the backfield as well and called up Spencer Brown ahead of this week’s game.
Currently at 3-2, the Panthers are tied for second in the NFC South with a game against the Vikings on tap for Week 6. McCaffrey will be eligible to retun as soon as Week 9, when the Panthers play the Patriots.