Without him, the offense is all about Sam Darnold lighting it up.
And that is not the strength of this team.
So, what is McCaffrey’s status heading into the weekend?
Christian McCaffrey was limited today in practice. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said it will probably be a game time decision for Sunday. "Probably 50-50 on Christian," Rhule said.
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) October 13, 2021
Fantasy football owners are going to freak out at the fact McCaffrey is still just 50-50 in terms of playing against the Minnesota Vikings.
But with such an injury, there is no bone to heal.
He just has to feel right enough to play again.
Making The Call Sunday
All anyone can do, including the running back himself, is wait until gameday and make the call.
Just getting some extra rest throughout the week seems like the best option.
And that can be true every week if he needs a few days off in order to suit up on Sundays.
No one is going to fault the elite back as long as he can play in the actual games.
The Panthers just want him out there to help get out of this current two-game losing streak.
He left in Week 3’s Thursday night matchup against the Houston Texans, which is a game the Panthers won.
However, they lost to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 and then to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5.
A positive in the latest loss was Chuba Hubbard rushing for over 100 yards.
Yet McCaffrey is a weapon in the passing game as well and his mere presence on the field leaves opposing defenses with a dynamic threat to worry about on every play.
A Long-Term View
The last thing the Panthers want to do is rush McCaffrey back and have him suffer a long-term injury.
As expected Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will practice in full gear.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) October 13, 2021
He missed much of the 2020 season and the final result was a 5-11 record.
Even losing this weekend only drops the team to 3-3 on the season.
So the strategy may be, if he is still only 50-50, to hold him out and just accept the fact they may be at .500 after six games.
They could still win, by the way, so there is no need to panic if McCaffrey is indeed out.