Possible Christian McCaffrey return date (ankle) for Panthers revealed
Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey was eligible to return from injured reserve this weekend against the Chicago Bears. However, the team will not activate “CMC” for Week 6, and it is possible he will not play in Week 7, either.
David Newton of ESPN reported Week 8–a Thursday night game for the Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons–is the likeliest return date for McCaffrey, noting the initial timeline of his high ankle sprain was 4-6 weeks:
The Panthers didn’t activate Christian McCaffrey (high ankle sprain) from injured reserve this week and it seems unlikely he will be ready for the following week against New Orleans. The Thursday night Atlanta game might be a more realistic time to return. Remember, the initial prognosis was 4-6 weeks. This will be his fourth game missed.
The other reason the Panthers might still try to ease McCaffrey back is the play of backup running back Mike Davis.
Davis has thrived as a runner and playmaker in Carolina’s backfield since filling in for McCaffrey. The 27-year-old is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the Panthers and has racked up 426 yards from scrimmage on the year.
Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has gotten Davis involved in the passing game, as Davis has seen at least six targets in each of his four appearances while also averaging close to eight targets per game.
Of course, the Panthers would love to have McCaffrey back on the field. He is a game-breaker who can make a home run play happen at any time.
But the Panthers will not rush CMC back to action, particularly after signing him to a lucrative extension this past spring.