Christian McCaffrey Won't Go IR with Hamstring Injury, per Panthers' HC Matt Rhule

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 27, 2021

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey warms up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Monday that running back Christian McCaffrey would not be placed on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring Sunday.

Any setback for McCaffrey will raise concern given the fact he is one of the league's top playmakers and he played just three games during the 2020 campaign because of various injuries.

There are few players in the NFL who can impact a game like McCaffrey when he is healthy. The Stanford product was an All-Pro selection in 2019 when he ran for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns and then added 116 catches for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

That type of versatility puts additional stress on the defense, and he has followed with 362 yards from scrimmage and a score in 2021.

While the Panthers don't have anyone who can replicate McCaffrey's totals, Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman will see more playing time if McCaffrey is forced to miss games with his current injury.

Monday's news would suggest that any absences won't be for the long-term, however.