USA Today

The Carolina Panthers are set to get the NFL reigning yards per scrimmage champion back, as the team is prepared to activate Christian McCaffrey from injured reserve this weekend. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McCaffrey is set to make his return in Sunday’s showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady have hinted at McCaffrey’s return, as the All-Pro back has been practicing throughout the week. 

“If we played right now, I feel like he’d be able to play,” Rhule said Thursday, via the Panthers website. “We had a good workout yesterday. He handled it well. We had a good workout today. He practiced well and hard. So we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. So, (it’s) day by day. But at the same time, things are trending and moving in the right direction.”

McCaffrey had 156 yards and four rushing touchdowns in two games with Carolina this season, to go with seven catches for 67 yards. McCaffrey has played just 34 of a possible 40 games since the start of the 2018 season, but still leads the NFL with 4,580 yards from scrimmage and sits third in touchdowns (36) during that span. He leads all running backs in receiving yards (1,939) and receptions (23) while recording 10 touchdowns since the start of the 2018 season. 

Carolina has survived with Mike Davis taking the reins as the No. 1 running back, who has 594 total yards and four touchdowns in McCaffrey’s absence — as the Panthers rank amongst the middle of the pack in rushing and yards per carry on the year. Davis, who had a touchdown in each of his first four starts for Carolina, was held out of the end zone over the last two contests. 

The Panthers will have a solid 1-2 punch with McCaffrey and Davis in the backfield, as Carolina has averaged 407.5 yards per game in the two contests McCaffrey has suited up this season — compared to 345.5 yards a game in the six he’s missed. 


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