Fantasy Alert: Christian McCaffrey Misses Thursday Panthers Practice with Injury

Doric SamOctober 15, 2021

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, file photo, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey watches play from the sideline during the first half of a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. McCaffrey did not practice Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, a sign that he could miss his third straight game while trying to rehab from a hamstring injury. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The Carolina Panthers were optimistic that Christian McCaffrey could return from his hamstring injury this week, but it looks like he might need more time.

McCaffrey missed Thursday's practice and is in danger of missing his third straight game on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

McCaffrey was limited to three games in 2020 because of ankle, thigh and shoulder injuries. He's played in just six of the 21 games the Panthers have played under head coach Matt Rhule.

In McCaffrey's absence, rookie running back Chuba Hubbard has taken over as Carolina's lead back. He ran for 101 yards in last week's loss to the Eagles, his first career 100-yard game. Hubbard has yet to reach the end zone this season.

The Panthers will likely be relying on the run game against the Vikings. Minnesota ranks ninth in the NFL in scoring defense (21.8) but 22nd in rushing defense with an average of 130 yards allowed.

McCaffrey's return would've given Carolina a good shot at ending its two-game skid, but it looks like Hubbard will be relied on once again. Quarterback Sam Darnold, who leads the team with five rushing touchdowns, will also be looking to bounce back after throwing five interceptions in the last two games without McCaffrey.