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Christian McCaffrey officially OUT for Week 6 vs. Vikings

We break down the Monday news that CMC won’t play Sunday due to his hamstring injury.

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers warms up prior to playing the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2021 in Houston, Texas.  Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Friday PM update: McCaffrey has officially been ruled out for Week 6 when the Panthers take on the Vikings, per Joe Person.

Friday update: McCaffrey was once again absent to start practice on Friday. At this point it appears that he must have had some type of setback and appears to be a long shot to play. Chuba Hubbard should get the call this week against the Vikings.

Thursday PM update: McCaffrey was held out of the entirety of practice on Thursday and officially not a participant.

It’s a little bit concerning considering that he was a limited participant on Wednesday, but this could also just be a case of the Panthers gradually easing him back into action without risking aggravating his hamstring again.

His status on Friday will most likely determine where the wind blows for Sunday’s Week 6 battle against the Vikings.

Thursday 1:34 p.m. ET update:

Christian McCaffrey wasn’t spotted at practice on Thursday. This isn’t good news for his chance to play this week and possibly in the coming weeks. Hopefully he hasn’t had a big setback.

Wednesday update: McCaffrey will get in a limited practice today, per Joe Person. He was able to get limited practices in last week, but was ultimately held out. His chance this week are better though.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said on Monday that he’s “hopeful” that Christian McCaffrey will play this week, per Darin Gantt. McCaffrey made his return to practice last week after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Houston Texans.

Fantasy football implications

With McCaffrey being sidelined for the last two games, the Panthers have been leaning on rookie running back Chuba Hubbard. The rookie turned in one of his best performances on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Hubbard had a game-high 101 yards on 24 carries, along with five receptions (six targets) for 33 yards.

The 22-year-old running back has admirably filled in the void left by McCaffrey over the last two weeks, which almost mirrored what Mike Davis did last season. However, if the Panthers do get McCaffrey back for next week, that would give defenses something else to focus on outside of wide receiver D.J. Moore.