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Christian McCaffrey’s setback was apparently worse than we thought. On Saturday, the Carolina Panthers announced they had placed their star running back on injured reserve due to his hamstring injury. The team said the decision was made after the medical staff met Saturday to discuss the best course of action to get McCaffrey fully healthy.
It appeared McCaffrey was on track to return as soon as this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, as he was a limited participant in practice Wednesday. However, he sat out Thursday and Friday and will now miss at least the next three games. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule had previously said that McCaffrey was 50/50 to play Sunday. After his setback, however, he was ruled out Friday. Injured reserve wasn’t initially the plan when McCaffrey walked off the field in Houston, but that plan has changed.
McCaffrey has missed the past two games after going down with his hamstring injury in Week 3. He missed a total of 13 games last season due to ankle and shoulder ailments, but it looked like he was back to being the bell cow for the Panthers through the first two games of the season, as he recorded 324 scrimmage yards on 59 touches and scored two touchdowns.
The Panthers are 3-0 with McCaffrey and 0-2 without him this season. The rookie Chuba Hubbard will continue to be the lead back in McCaffrey’s absence, and he had a career game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the 21-18 loss, Hubbard rushed for 101 yards on 24 carries and caught five passes for 33 yards.
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