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Carolina Panthers coach hopeful Christian McCaffrey practices Wednesday

Sportsnaut
Sep 19, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) pushes off a New Orleans Saints defender during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) pushes off a New Orleans Saints defender during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Monday he’s hopeful running back Christian McCaffrey is nearing a return from his hamstring injury.

“Hopefully we get Christian back soon. Hopefully, it’s this week. If not this week, then next week,” Rhule said. “Obviously, he’s one of the best players in football. He brings something.”

McCaffrey has been sidelined since Carolina’s 24-9 victory over the Houston Texans on Sept. 23. He resumed practicing in a limited capacity before the Panthers elected to place him on injured reserve on Oct. 16.

Should McCaffrey practice on Wednesday, that would begin a 21-day window for returning from injured reserve.

“Yeah, he’ll practice Wednesday, I’m hoping,” Rhule said. “If he practices on Wednesday and does well, then we’ll see how he is on Thursday and just kind of ramp him up toward the game. He hasn’t practiced yet, so there’s always a return-to-play component to it. But no one works harder than Christian McCaffrey. When he comes back, he’ll be in shape and ready to go. So hopefully we have him. We’ll know more as the week goes on.”

An All-Pro, McCaffrey has 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown to go along with 16 receptions for 163 yards in three games this season. He played only three games in 2020 due to a high ankle sprain and a shoulder injury.

–Field Level Media