CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss multiple weeks with a hamstring injury, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the severity of the injury.
McCaffrey was injured in Carolina’s 24-9 win over the Houston Texans on Thursday night when he pulled up after running a sweep on the team’s third possession. He had 31 yards on seven carries, but did not return.
Rookie Chuba Hubbard is expected to take over for McCaffrey as the starter, while Royce Freeman will also see carries. Hubbard ran for 52 yards on 11 carries against the Texans, while Freeman had five carries for 17 yards.
This is yet another frustrating injury for McCaffrey, who hasn't been able to consistently stay on the field since becoming only the third player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season en route to being named All-Pro in 2019.
He missed 13 games last season with separate injuries.
McCaffrey was off to another solid start this season for the unbeaten Panthers with 201 yards rushing on 52 carries and one touchdown, along with 16 receptions for 163 yards. The team counts on him to set up the play-action passing game.
Quarterback Sam Darnold said McCaffrey was “sad” after the game.
“He's a special player," Darnold said. “I don't know if there is any way to describe him. He's someone who can align anywhere and I think the greatest way to to see how great a player is, is by how the defense game plans for them. When Christian is out there you can see when he starts to line up in different ways that defenses have certain checks for him when he's out there. That's the sign of a really good player.”
The Panthers play at Dallas on Oct. 3.
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Steve Reed, The Associated Press