Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is itching to get back onto the field.
After injuring his hamstring in Week 3, McCaffrey sat out last Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Now that he's rested, the star told reporters Thursday that he feels "great" and "definitely" has a chance to play this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
McCaffrey returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity for the first time since suffering his injury. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters that the 25-year-old will likely be a game-time decision for Sunday.
Despite his injury, McCaffrey leads Carolina with 201 rushing yards and ranks second on the team with 16 catches and 163 receiving yards. His versatility was sorely missed against the Cowboys as the Panthers suffered their first loss of the season to fall to 3-1.
McCaffrey was limited to three games in 2020 because of ankle and shoulder setbacks. He established himself as one of the league's best running backs in 2019, though, rushing for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns and adding 1,005 receiving yards on his way to a first-team All-Pro selection.
McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension after the 2019 season, which made him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.
Without the star in the lineup, rookie Chuba Hubbard assumed the lead back role and ran for a team-high 57 yards against Dallas. In addition, quarterback Sam Darnold ran for two scores against the Cowboys, and he leads the NFL with five rushing touchdowns.
If McCaffrey can return this week, he could be in for a big game. The Eagles rank second-to-last in the league in rushing defense, allowing 150.3 yards per contest.