OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Sun 11/8/20 4:50 PM

McCaffrey rushed 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown and brought in all 10 targets for 82 yards and another score in the Panthers' 33-31 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. However, Joseph Person of The Athletic reports McCaffrey missed the last play of the game with a rib injury of unknown severity.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey was activated from injured reserve Saturday and was set to share time fairly evenly with Mike Davis in his first game action since Week 2. Ultimately, the Pro Bowl running back outpaced his teammate by 17 carries, and he ended up leading the team in receptions as well. McCaffrey showed no ill effects from the ankle sprain that had kept him sidelined in recent weeks, but the late-game rib injury naturally will be a source of concern for both the team and fantasy managers until more information is revealed. If he's able to suit up Week 10, McCaffrey will be in for a tough statistical matchup against a Buccaneers defense that was successful in limiting him the last three times it's faced him.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Sun 11/8/20 9:52 AM

McCaffrey (ankle) is expected to rotate series at running back with Mike Davis during Sunday's game in Kansas City, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

The Panthers activated McCaffrey from injured reserve Saturday, clearing the way for him to play for the first time since going down with a high-ankle sprain Week 2. The 24-year-old is expected to start and should lead the backfield in touches and snaps, but coach Matt Rhule could be more judicious with McCaffrey's usage initially as he eases back in from the injury. Though McCaffrey routinely played 90-plus percent of the team's plays in 2019, the Panthers may treat him as more of an Option 1A than a true bell cow Sunday. Rapoport suggested that the distribution of the work between McCaffrey and Davis could resemble how the Saints use Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Sat 11/7/20 9:15 AM

McCaffrey (ankle) has been activated from injured reserve, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

EDGE Analysis

Carolina head coach Matt Rhule said he expects McCaffrey to play in Sunday's game against the Chiefs. He wasn't willing to elaborate on expectations for McCaffrey's role, however. Given that McCaffrey has been practicing for more than a week, it isn't out of the question that he could see his usual 20-plus touches in his first game back from a high ankle sprain.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Fri 11/6/20 1:23 PM

Coach Matt Rhule said he expects McCaffrey (ankle) to play in Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Myles Simmons of the Panthers' official site reports.

EDGE Analysis

Rhule made a similar comment earlier in the week and reinforced it after Friday's practice. He wasn't willing to elaborate on expectations for McCaffrey's role, but the star running back should at least get activated from injured reserve before Sunday. Given that he's been practicing for more than a week now, it isn't out of the question that McCaffrey could see his usual 20-plus touches in his first game back from a high ankle sprain. If the Panthers have any reservations about having McCaffrey reclaim his normal allotment of snaps and touches right away, backup Mike Davis should be able to help him shoulder the load after proving himself capable as both a runner and pass catcher over the past six games.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Fri 11/6/20 12:35 PM

McCaffrey (ankle) practiced again Friday and appears on track to play in Sunday's game against the Chiefs, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey returned to practice last week, but he wasn't quite able to make it back for a Thursday night game against Atlanta. Ten days later, McCaffrey now looks ready to play, though his availability for Week 9 won't be confirmed until the Panthers officially activate him from injured reserve. While Mike Davis could still see some backfield work, McCaffrey is the much better bet to pile up carries, targets, yards and touchdowns.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Thu 11/5/20 3:24 PM

Coach Matt Rhule believes McCaffrey (ankle) will play Sunday in Kansas City, Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports. "Things are trending and moving in the right direction," Rhule said Thursday. "It's just a matter of no setbacks."

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey has put together a little more than a week of practice as he works his way back from a high right ankle sprain, including work at Wednesday's padded session. On Thursday, he looked like his usual self, too, showing burst and making good cuts during individual drills, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. So far, McCaffrey hasn't suffered any of the aforementioned "setbacks," but the Panthers will continue to be cautious and may not make his activation from IR official until the weekend. If he plays Sunday for the first time since Week 2, there's a chance McCaffrey yields the occasional rep to Mike Davis, who mostly has fared well in his absence.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Wed 11/4/20 3:04 PM

Coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday that McCaffrey (ankle) looked good in his first padded practice since Week 2, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. "He looked like Christian," Rhule said. "He looked sharp. We'll see how his body responds to the duress and see how it responds [Thursday] morning.''

EDGE Analysis

The Panthers still need to evaluate how his ankle responds to Wednesday's practice workload, but McCaffrey seems on track to return for Sunday's game in Kansas City. While fellow running back Mike Davis has made a decent case to stay involved in the offense, Rhule recently hinted at McCaffrey recapturing a workhorse role once he's cleared to play, per Newton.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Wed 11/4/20 12:53 PM

McCaffrey (ankle) was in full pads for Wednesday's practice, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

Newton notes that McCaffrey was making good cuts during the media-access portion of practice. If the running back avoids any setbacks, he'll likely be activated from injured reserve by the end of the week in advance of Sunday's game against the Chiefs. According to Newton, comments in recent days from head coach Matt Rhule have suggested that McCaffrey is expected to immediately reclaim the workhorse role he handled prior to his injury, resulting in Mike Davis seeing more limited use as a backup.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Mon 11/2/20 3:57 PM

Coach Matt Rhule said Monday that he's hopeful McCaffrey (ankle) will be activated from IR for this Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Myles Simmons of the Panthers' official site reports.

EDGE Analysis

The 24-year-old running back has already missed six games after initially being handed a 4-to-6 week timeline. There has been growing optimism that McCaffrey would return Week 9, but this is the second time in four days that Rhule has said he's "hopeful" for McCaffrey's return and that trainers will have the final verdict. While the language is far from certain, the star back will practice this week, which bodes well for his chances to play. McCaffrey will obviously be the clear No. 1 back once he's fully healthy, but Rhule reiterated Monday that Mike Davis has earned a role in the offense moving forward. According to David Newton of ESPN, that doesn't necessarily mean McCaffrey won't be an every-snap player, as Davis could line up at wide receiver while McCaffrey is on the field.

OUTChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Fri 10/30/20 12:39 PM

Coach Matt Rhule said Friday that he's hopeful McCaffrey (ankle) can return for Week 9 against the Chiefs, Myles Simmons of the Panthers' official site reports.

EDGE Analysis

A report earlier this week suggested McCaffrey should be back to face the Chiefs in Week 9, after he was cleared to practice Tuesday for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain Sept. 20. Mike Davis mostly has done a nice job filling in at running back, but his past three games in the starting role weren't nearly as impressive as the first three. Rhule did say Davis will still get some playing time after McCaffrey is back in the lineup, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press.