QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Thu 10/29/20 9:04 AM

McCaffrey (ankle) is unlikely to be activated from the IR in advance of Thursday's matchup against Atlanta, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

While McCaffrey is back practicing with the team this week, it was seemingly always a bit of a long shot that he'd beat his timetable and suit up Week 8 against the Falcons. He still isn't formally ruled out for the contest, but the team also has yet to activate him from IR, thus his absence from the official injury report that would have detailed his practice participation. Look for the backfield to once again be led by Mike Davis, with Trenton Cannon available if needed in a reserve capacity. McCaffrey will instead target a return Week 9 against Kansas City.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Tue 10/27/20 3:24 PM

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said after Tuesday's practice that McCaffrey (ankle) hasn't been ruled out from returning from injured reserve ahead of Thursday's game against the Falcons, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

EDGE Analysis

Rhule's comments came after Carolina designated McCaffrey to return from IR, a move that allowed the running back to resume practicing for the first time since suffering a high right ankle sprain Sept. 20. While Rhule noted that McCaffrey looked good in his on-field work Tuesday, the Panthers may continue to evaluate him up until game day before deciding on whether to add him back to the 53-man roster in Week 8. If McCaffrey does gain clearance for Thursday's contest, he may not immediately step back into a lead role out of the backfield as the Panthers presumably look to exercise some caution with his usage in his first game back. Mike Davis has filled in admirably as Carolina's three-down back over the past five weeks, averaging 88.4 yards from scrimmage and scoring four touchdowns during that span.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Tue 10/27/20 12:16 PM

The Panthers designated McCaffrey (ankle) to return from injured reserve Tuesday.

EDGE Analysis

After showing up to practice Tuesday sporting no pads and a red no-contact jersey, McCaffrey initially looked like he would be relegated to working out on the side field. However, shortly after the Panthers announced that McCaffrey was designated to return from IR, David Newton of ESPN.com noted that the running back put on a helmet and swapped his red jersey for a black one. The transaction opens up a 21-day window during which the Panthers can evaluate McCaffrey for a return from IR, and the 24-year-old would seemingly have a chance at being available for Thursday's game against the Falcons. Before determining his status for the Week 8 contest, the Panthers' coaching and training staff will likely assess how McCaffrey's right high-ankle sprain responds to practice activity Tuesday and Wednesday.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Tue 10/27/20 11:52 AM

McCaffrey (ankle) was spotted at Tuesday's practice donning a red no-contact jersey, suggesting he won't participate with the Panthers' main group during the session, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

The Panthers have yet to officially designate McCaffrey to return from injured reserve, and until that happens, he won't be allowed to take reps alongside the team's other healthy players. Given that McCaffrey has now sported the no-contact jersey in both of the team's first two practices of Week 8, he's looking increasingly unlikely to return to action Thursday against the Falcons. If that's the case, Mike Davis would once again handle a three-down role out of the Carolina backfield.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Mon 10/26/20 6:09 PM

Coach Matt Rhule noted Monday that McCaffrey (ankle) is a "possibility" for Thursday night's game against the Falcons, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

EDGE Analysis

Per Myles Simmons of the Panthers' official site, Rhule indicated that McCaffrey's Week 8 status is "sort of out of my hands. I'm hopeful that we'll have him." For now, though, McCaffrey has yet to be designated to return from IR, which needs to happen before he can practice. Either way, McCaffrey appears to be nearing a return to action, but even if he remains sidelined Thursday night, he'd presumably be ready for the team's Nov. 8 contest against the Chiefs.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Mon 10/26/20 4:05 PM

McCaffrey (ankle) is present for Monday's practice and dressed in uniform, Alaina Getzenberg of The Charlotte Observer reports.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey hasn't necessarily been designated for a return from injured reserve yet, as it remains to be seen whether he'll actually participate in Monday's session. As Getzenberg notes, however, this is the first time he's been present for practice since suffering a high-ankle sprain Week 2. The star running back hasn't yet been ruled out for Thursday's divisional game against the Falcons.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Mon 10/26/20 1:54 PM

McCaffrey (ankle) is considered a long shot to play Thursday against the Falcons, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey hasn't been ruled out for Thursday Night Football, but the Panthers still have yet to officially designate him for a return to practice, and it's hard to imagine the team clearing him to play before being thoroughly evaluated during on-field reps. Even if McCaffrey's 21-day practice window is opened in the near future, he could only have a few chances to prove his health before Carolina makes a decision on his Week 8 availability. In the event that the star running back is forced to miss a sixth straight game due to his high-ankle sprain, Mike Davis would be in line to log another start.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Sun 10/25/20 10:34 AM

McCaffrey (ankle), who won't play Sunday at New Orleans, may return for Thursday's game against the Falcons if he's 100 percent, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey picked up a high right ankle sprain Week 2, missing the Panthers' ensuing five games in the process. The team has yet to open his 21-day window to activate him from IR, and with a short week to prepare between games, his chances to prove his health on the practice field this week could be few and far between. As a result, if Carolina's staff holds McCaffrey out Thursday, he "seems likely" to make his long-awaited return Sunday, Nov. 8 in Kansas City.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Tue 10/20/20 3:44 PM

McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to return for Sunday's game at New Orleans, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

Pelissero's report comes a day removed from coach Matt Rhule telling Joe Person of The Athletic that he is unsure whether McCaffrey will be available "this week, next week or the week after." McCaffrey so far has missed four consecutive games due to a high right ankle sprain and seems poised to log a fifth DNP this weekend. Perhaps the Panthers hope McCaffrey is able to practice in the near future with an eye toward a Week 8 matchup with the Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 29. If he sits out the next two contests, though, his next chance to play would be Sunday, Nov. 8 in Kansas City. As long as McCaffrey is sidelined, Mike Davis will serve as Carolina's bell-cow back.

QChristian McCaffrey
RB CAR (13)
Mon 10/19/20 1:46 PM

Coach Matt Rhule said Monday that he's not sure whether McCaffrey (ankle) will return "this week, next week or the week after," Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

EDGE Analysis

McCaffrey already has missed four games on IR while recovering from his high right ankle sprain, and Rhule is keeping the door open for him to return any time between Weeks 7 and 9. If McCaffrey isn't activated for Sunday's contest in New Orleans, it could be difficult to get him ready for a Thursday night affair Week 8, in which case his next chance to suit up would come Nov. 8 in Kansas City. With Mike Davis performing so well out of the backfield, the Panthers may feel secure in allowing McCaffrey ample time to get back to 100 percent health.