Panthers' Christian McCaffrey Reportedly 'Close' to Return from Ankle Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2020

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) rushes for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will likely miss Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo

Pelissero and Garafolo said that McCaffrey is "close" but that the Panthers want to exercise caution since they'll be back in action Oct. 29 against the Atlanta Falcons.

The 24-year-old has missed significant time this season with an ankle injury, though he played all 16 games during each of his first three seasons in the league as he established himself as a top-notch playmaker and the face of the Panthers.

McCaffrey was dominant in 2019 with 1,387 rushing yards, 1,005 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns, which made him the consensus No. 1 pick for most fantasy football leagues and an MVP candidate entering the 2020 campaign.

While the Stanford product's missed time undercut his MVP chances, he has 156 rushing yards, 67 receiving yards and four touchdowns in two games this year.

Fortunately for Carolina, it has played fairly well even with McCaffrey sidelined thanks in part to Mike Davis' ability to step in as a replacement back.

Look for Davis to remain the No. 1 option out of the backfield once again until McCaffrey is ready to return.