Christian McCaffrey to miss ‘multiple weeks’ with ankle injury

By Matt Johnson
Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss multiple weeks after suffering an ankle injury during the team’s Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coming off an All-Pro season with over 2,000 scrimmage yards, McCaffrey came off the field slowly in the fourth quarter after scoring his second touchdown of the game. He wouldn’t return for the rest of the day, with the team waiting for clarity on his injury following an MRI.

Latest news on Christian McCaffrey’s injury

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McCaffrey is expected to miss several weeks due to the ankle injury he suffered in Week 2. While official results aren’t yet known, the Panthers were hopeful before Monday morning that their star running back had avoided a serious injury.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest blow in what was a horrific Sunday for injuries around the league. While McCaffrey’s injury will sideline him for the season, it’s a better result than the news the New York Giants received on Sunday night.

Star running back Saquon Barkley, who left in the second quarter, is feared to have suffered a torn ACL. The diagnosis is expected to be confirmed later on Monday, with the Giants already bringing in Devonta Freeman for a workout.

Losing McCaffrey for any length of time would be a devastating hit for Carolina’s offense. He exploded for 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards in 2019, while also setting the NFL’s single-season record for catches by a running back (116).

Sitting at 0-2 on the year, the Panthers will be in no rush to bring their star back too quickly. The team was long expected to be near the bottom of the standings this season and upcoming matchups against the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals make an 0-4 start likely.

Fantasy impact of Christian McCaffrey’s injury

McCaffrey’s multi-week absence will lead to Mike Davis stepping in as Carolina’s starting running back. Although, the Panthers could make a run at Freeman, potentially swooping in to land him the same way they did for Matt Rhule this offseason.

For now, Davis should be the favorite to see a majority of the carries with the Panthers. The 27-year-old running back, a former fourth-round pick, has averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in his career with five touchdowns. The veteran’s best season came in 2018 with the Seattle Seahawks, when he racked up 514 rushing yards, 214 receiving yards and five total touchdowns in 15 games.

Davis will be one of the top waiver-wire targets heading into Week 3, but faces a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Given the number of injuries this week, especially at running back, fantasy owners will just be happy to have a healthy player.