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Report: Christian McCaffrey not expected to be activated for Week 8

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is close to returning, but it will not happen in Week 8, per a report.

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Game day update: The Panthers did not activate Christian McCaffrey off IR by 4 p.m. ET, per Ian Rapoport, so he will not play in Week 8.

The Carolina Panthers will be leaning on running back Mike Davis for at least one more week. The team designated Christian McCaffrey for return this week, but he is not quite ready to be activated for Week 8, according to Tom Pelissero.

McCaffrey suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 and was placed on injured reserve. This year, teams can place as many players as they want on IR and still return them. Previously they could do that with no more than two players. A player must miss at least three weeks on IR, and then they can designate the player to return. Once designated to return, the player must be activated to the 53-man roster within three weeks. Since the Panthers made the designation to return on McCaffrey this week, they still have some time to get him back.

The Panthers have not formally ruled him out for the game, but it seems a safe bet Mike Davis will be their starting running back and a strong fantasy option in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers technically have until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to activate McCaffrey.