When the Buffalo Bills welcome the Carolina Panthers to Highmark Stadium for a Week 14 clash in Orchard Park, the Panthers will do so without their leading offensive weapon—running back Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey, Carolina’s do-it-all tailback who is dangerous running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield, was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list after suffering an injury to his left ankle in the second quarter of the Panthers’ 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
McCaffrey attempted to return after the injury, but he was on the field for just two snaps and did not record a touch after returning to action.
This is the second time this year McCaffrey has wound up on the IR—an injured hamstring forced him to miss five games earlier this year—and this time, the injury will force him to miss Carolina’s final five games.
McCaffrey had amassed 785 all purpose yards in seven games this year, rushing 99 times for 442 yards with one touchdown, and catching 37 passes for 343 yards with one touchdown. He was averaging 4.5 yards per carry to go with 9.3 yards per reception for a Panthers squad that has lost five of its last seven following a 3-0 start.
After accounting for 2,392 yards from scrimmage during the 2019 season, McCaffrey has now missed significant time over the last two seasons with his assorted ailments. He was sidelined for 13 games during the 2020 season because of a high ankle sprain and injuries to his shoulder and quadriceps.
In his place, the Panthers are expected to roll out Chuba Hubbard (122 rushes for 427 yards and three touchdowns) and Ameer Abdullah (21 carries for 65 yards).