UPDATE — McCaffrey is expected to miss a few weeks due to the hamstring injury he sustained on Thursday Night Football vs. the Texans, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. With CMC sidelined, expect the Panthers to use rookie RB Chuba Hubbard as the feature back with Freeman also working in. We also could see the Panthers look to add depth outside of those two.
In the Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football, running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a non-contact injury to his hamstring. The injury came in the second quarter with the Carolina Panthers driving and McCaffrey was trying to juke a defender while running to the left side of the field. After he went to the medical tent, it was determined it was a hamstring injury and he was almost instantly ruled out for the remainder of the game.
The Panthers drafted Chuba Hubbard out of Oklahoma State with their third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Hubbard has been the primary backup for McCaffrey this season and figures to pick up the slack if the star running back misses time. Hubbard hasn’t gotten much action so far this season, and his largest workload was eight carries for 10 yards against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. Hubbard is currently rostered in 11.4% of ESPN leagues.
The other running back to keep an eye on will be Royce Freeman, who the Panthers claimed off waivers in the 2021 offseason. Freeman is rostered in only 0.1% of ESPN leagues. When Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury in the 2020 season, the Panthers mainly leaned on one running back, but Freeman wouldn’t be a bad add in case he gets the nod.