Christian McCaffrey’s lack of touches draws honest take from Ben McAdoo
The Carolina Panthers lost a tough, hard-fought game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, 26-24. In the loss, superstar running back Christian McCaffrey had only 10 carries and 14 total touches. For someone as explosive and dynamic a player as McCaffrey, that simply isn’t enough.
Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo clearly agrees, as noted by Associated Press writer Steve Reed.
Panthers OC Ben McAdoo said RB Christian McCaffrey is a special player, a unique player and "we've got to get the ball in his hands." He had 14 touches in Week 1.
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) September 15, 2022
McAdoo spoke about how special and unique of a player McCaffrey is, adding: “We’ve got to get the ball in his hands.”
Much has been made of the checkered injury history of Christian McCaffrey. His first three seasons in the NFL, McCaffrey had been putting up remarkable numbers, both as a rusher and receiver. But the injury bugaboo began in 2020 when he missed 13 games with ankle, shoulder and thigh issues. He then missed 10 more games last season with a hamstring strain early and another ankle injury late.
The Panthers’ tailback’s usage has been extremely high. Going all the way back to his college days at Stanford, McCaffrey has been run into the ground. So, it is very possible Carolina wants to limit his snaps and touches a bit this year. It is also possible that game script played a major factor into the lack of touches in Week 1.
The Panthers found themselves trailing by double digits rather early in the game. That led to more of an air-attack as Baker Mayfield and company attempted a comeback. They ultimately took the lead 24-23 with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. But Browns kicker Cade York nailed a 58-yard field goal with just seconds left, ruining the comeback.