Though the Panthers are off to a 3-0 start to the season, there is major concern for Carolina.
Standout running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a strained hamstring in Thursday night’s Panthers win over the Texans, Carolina head coach Matt Rhule said after the game. Rhule added he does not know the severity of the injury.
McCaffrey left the field and went into the blue medical tent in the second quarter following a run in which he could be seen favoring his leg after no contact. It was subsequently announced on the broadcast that McCaffrey was out and the Panthers announced it shortly thereafter.
While the severity or return timetable is unknown for McCaffrey, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold said he told CMC to take his time to make sure he’s fully healthy when he returns.
“We’ll be all right without him,” Darnold said. “Obviously, we want him back, but I want him to take his time right now and make sure he’s good for the end of the season.”
McCaffrey’s 2020 season was cut to just three games due to shoulder and ankle injuries.
Heading into the second quarter on Monday, McCaffrey looked like his old self. That all changed on a nine-yard run off left tackle in which he ran out of bounds and then into the medical tent.
Running backs Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman will now take on a bigger role in the backfield for Carolina.
The injury concluded McCaffrey’s evening with seven carries for 31 yards and two receptions for nine yards.
How much more production CMC can offer the Panthers this season is now the main question at hand.