The Carolina Panthers remained spotless this season after they obliterated the Houston Texans on Thursday, 24-9. Their victory, however, came at a cost after star running back Christian McCaffrey exited the game in the second quarter due to a hamstring injury.

McCaffrey entered the game leading the NFL in scrimmage yards, which he also did two seasons ago. The injury bug got him last campaign, playing in only three games. That's why his latest setback was a huge whimper in what was a dominant showing by Sam Darnold and the Panthers.

After the game, Panthers coach Matt Rhule was asked about McCaffrey's status. He, however, couldn't give a concrete answer (via ESPN).

“I don’t know the severity level of it yet, to be quite honest with you. But I knew the minute it happened I said: ‘Hey, he’s out for the game.’ That’s all I knew. I saw him in there, and he’s moving around, but it’s a wait and see.”

Rhule, who's in his second year with the Panthers, needs McCaffrey at full strength if he wants to improve on their dismal 5-11 slate last season.

Fortunately for him, his star quarterback has been excellent in their first three outings. Against the Texans, Darnold threw for 304 yards and ran for two touchdowns as the Panthers are 3-0 for the first time since 2015. The 24-year-old Darnold said losing McCaffrey stinks but he has complete faith in his teammates.

“Losing Christian is tough, but I thought we did a good job of bouncing back. For us, it’s just executing the plays called. It’s as simple as that for us. Just because Christian is out doesn’t mean I’m not going to go to the running back.’’

The Panthers will gun for their fourth straight win on October 3 against the Dallas Cowboys.