If you’re a Carolina Panthers fan, or if you secured the #1 pick in your fantasy football league, then you’re bummed out right now about the recent update that running back Christian McCaffrey will miss at least a month of action due to an ankle injury.
McCaffrey sprained his ankle in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. Through two games this season, McCaffrey accounted for 80% of the team’s touchdowns. He totaled 233 combined yards from scrimmage, plus four touchdowns in a game-and-a-half.
The Panthers lost 31-17 to the Bucs to start the season 0-2. Rookie head coach Matt Rhule has yet to win a game with the Panthers during a rebuilding year.
According to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Panthers are one of the long shots on the futures board to win the 2021Super Bowl at 200/1 odds.
Bad Beat for CMAC Fantasy Owners
McCaffrey, arguably the top running back in the league due to his dual-threat capabilities, was a consensus #1 pick in the fantasy football realm. Sometimes, the first pick can be a coinflip situation between the top two running backs, but in 2020, McCaffrey seemed the obvious and logical choice.
Last season, McCaffrey reached the 1K yardage milestone in both rushing and receiving. He rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also added 1,005 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.
The second week of the NFL season had a serious wave of injuries to numerous key starters across the league. It’s been a long time since so many players were injured on the same day. The New York Giants lost Saquon Barkley, arguably the third-best running back in the NFL, for the season when he blew out his ACL against the Chicago Bears.
So far this season, the injury bug hit other running backs, including Le’Veon Bell (NY Jets) and Raheem Mostert (San Francisco 49ers).
Next Man Up for Panthers
Who is McCaffrey’s running back up? I’m glad you asked because I had to look it up myself. Mike Davis stepped in for CMAC on Sunday. He caught eight passes and tallied 74 receiving yards.
“I’m just here to do my job and do whatever coaches ask me to do,” said Davis. I’m not going to do anything crazy.”
The Panthers aren’t deep at the RB spot. Third-stringer Trenton Cannon played on special teams, while Reggie Bonnafon is on the practice squad.
“It’s tough when you don’t have your best players on the field,” said Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Devonta Freeman is a free agent. He met with the Philadelphia Eagles over the weekend. The New York Giants worked out Freeman on Monday as a potential replacement for Barkley.
In three seasons with the Panthers, McCaffrey played in every single game. He faded the injury bug, until now.
Last season, EA Sports assigned him with the highest rating for any player on the Madden Football video game. Christian McCaffrey became the youngest player, at age 23, to join the super-rare Madden 99 Club, which is designated for players who achieved a perfect rating, such as Hall of Fame backs like Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk.