Christian McCaffrey, Ron Rivera Blast NFL Rule Prohibiting RB from Practicing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2017

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22) walks to the field before his first practice at the NFL football team's rookie camp in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and head coach Ron Rivera expressed their dismay Monday with a rule that has prevented the rookie from fully taking part in OTAs.

When Bill Voth of the team's official website asked him about the situation, McCaffrey replied, "It sucks. It's really tough."

Under current NFL rules, a rookie cannot fully participate in workouts until the final day of exams at their school, even if they are no longer enrolled, which is the case with McCaffrey at Stanford.

According to ESPN.com's David Newton, Rivera doesn't see the logic in the rule:

"I just think if a young man on his own is not going to enroll, don't hold that against him. You don't know who you're going to get through the draft. If those young men decided on their own, then they're being punished for something that is their choice. It really only hurts the player. He's got to come in [late] and learn and grow and fit in."

Stanford's final day of exams is June 14, which means McCaffrey will be a full participant during Day 2 of a three-day mandatory minicamp.

The Panthers selected McCaffrey with No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and he is expected to be a significant part of the offense as a rookie due to his all-around skill set.

While veteran Jonathan Stewart will also factor into the backfield mix, McCaffrey's proficiency as a pass-catcher (99 receptions in three years with the Cardinal) may give him an advantage.

McCaffrey rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns at Stanford last season in just 11 games after piling up 2,019 yards on the ground as a sophomore in 2015.