The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are clashing Sunday in a pivotal battle that could very well determine who wins the NFC South, yet the Panthers could be without their top two offensive weapons. Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey are both questionable to play, and Ron Rivera said their status for this huge game would be determined on Saturday.
A decision on the playing status of Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen (foot) and running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will likely be made on Saturday. Both were at practice today. Coach Ron Rivera wouldn't elaborate. McCaffrey has been on the field… https://t.co/Kq50v0Mra5
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) December 1, 2017
McCaffrey hasn’t missed a game this year. The rookie has been invaluable as a pass-catching running back, breaking the franchise record for a single season a few weeks back. He’s starting to come into his own as a pure runner, too, gaining 151 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries the past three games.
Olsen has missed most of the season after breaking his foot in Week 2. He returned in Week 12 after a stint on IR but suffered a setback to his surgically repaired foot.
Given the offensive firepower New Orleans possesses, it would certainly be a blow if one or both of these offensive weapons were unavailable. Cam Newton is also dealing with a thumb injury and struggled to make accurate passes last weekend down the field.
Heading into Week 13, the Panthers and Saints both carry a record of 8-3 into this big game. So the winner would have a clear advantage heading into the final few games of the season.