The opening week of most fantasy football playoffs is on track to commence without Christian McCaffrey involved. Matt Rhule said Thursday he does not expect the All-Pro running back to play Sunday, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.
McCaffrey is dealing with his third known injury of the season. He suffered a quadriceps injury during the Panthers’ bye week and aggravated it Wednesday in practice. Rhule added the “at this time” caveat regarding McCaffrey’s status to face the Broncos, but Wednesday’s setback appears to have been significant. Prior to this new injury development, Rhule expected McCaffrey to return this week.
While McCaffrey wants to return this season, it would not surprise to see the Panthers hold him out after this injury-plagued year. If nothing else, this season has spared the 24-year-old star back some touches. After logging an NFL-most 403 in 2019, McCaffrey has just 76 this season.
Ankle, shoulder and quad maladies have limited McCaffrey to three games this season. Following his league-high 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 TDs in 2019, the Panthers signed McCaffrey to a running back-record four-year, $64M extension. He has been unable to stay on the field consistently enough to make an impact in Joe Brady‘s offense.