The Carolina Panthers defeated the Houston Texans 24-9 on Thursday Night Football, but they lost running back Christian McCaffrey to a hamstring injury and corner Jaycee Horn to a broken foot.
McCaffrey was the consensus first-round pick in everyone’s fantasy football draft. Fans and gamblers expected big things out of McCaffrey this season after an injury-plagued 2020 season. Last year, McCaffrey missed time with a high-ankle sprain before he incurred a bad beat with a season-ending shoulder injury.
McCaffrey tweaked his hamstring in the second quarter against the Texans. Prior to the injury, McCaffrey rushed seven times for 31 yards and added two receptions for nine yards.
“We’ll be all right without him,” said quarterback Sam Darnold. “Obviously, we want him back. But I want him to take his time and make sure he’s good for the end of the season.”
Rookie backup running back Chubba Hubbard, a fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, filled in for McCaffrey. Hubbard contributed 79 combined yards, including 11 rushes for 52 yards and three catches for 27 yards.
The Panthers scored three rushing touchdowns in the win, but none from their running backs. Darnold rushed for two scores, while tight end Tommy Tremble added a seven-yard touchdown run.
On the defensive end, the Panthers lost Jaycee Horn to a broken foot. Horn, the #8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was one of the highest-rated cornerbacks in college football last season.
“Jaycee will be back,” said head coach Matt Rhule. “Jaycee Horn is a special, special, special football player.”
Horn suffered a non-contact injury to his right foot in the third quarter and he missed the remainder of the game.
The Carolina Panthers improved to 3-0 this season. You can back the Panthers at +5000 odds to win Super Bowl 56, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.