Friday PM update: McCaffrey has officially been ruled out for Week 6 when the Panthers take on the Vikings, per Joe Person.
Matt Rhule said Christian McCaffrey tested out the hamsting on Wednesday at practice but "he's just not there yet. We hope to have him out there next week" at practice. Rhule would not say if McCaffrey had a setback.— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) October 15, 2021
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.
#Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is not out here at practice. This would mark 2 straight DNP days assuming he doesn’t pop out following the portion of practice open to the media. pic.twitter.com/VDmQMIe6oi— Schuyler Callihan (@Callihan_) October 15, 2021
Thursday PM update: McCaffrey was held out of the entirety of practice on Thursday and officially not a participant.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey officially did not participate in practice today due to his hamstring injury.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 14, 2021
He’d been practicing on a limited basis every day since last week.
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:
Have not seen Christian McCaffrey out here yet. That seems less than ideal.— Joe Person (@josephperson) October 14, 2021
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.