The roller-coaster ride that is Christian McCaffrey’s weekly injury report took a plunge on Thursday. The Carolina Panthers’ do-it-all playmaker was absent for a second consecutive practice.
McCaffrey, who is given a weekly rest day, was listed with a thigh injury on the injury report on Wednesday. Since Wednesday is his typical day off from practice, head coach Matt Rhule was asked to clarify whether or not McCaffrey would have practiced if it were a Thursday or Friday.
In response, Rhule declined to speculate, as he put it, regarding whether or not McCaffrey would have been available. However, Rhule clarified that McCaffrey alerted the staff of a quad issue following the 22-14 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
McCaffrey was absent for the entirety of Thursday’s workout, so the likelihood of him playing in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals has taken a major hit. McCaffrey has a notable injury history — which includes long absences due to significant hamstring, ankle and shoulder ailments — so his presence on the injury report has certainly caused a stir among the Panthers faithful.
If McCaffrey were to miss Sunday’s game, the Panthers would need to rely on the young trio of Chuba Hubbard, D’Onta Foreman and rookie Raheem Blackshear.
McCaffrey has been the dominant playmaker out of the backfield this season, producing 243 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards and two touchdowns through three games.
Foreman and Hubbard have received four carries apiece and combined for 42 rushing yards on those opportunities. Blackshear, who was signed off the Buffalo Bills practice squad last week, has yet to touch the ball.
On Wednesday, cornerbacks Jaycee Horn (calf) and Stantley Thomas-Oliver (Achilles), safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), tight end Ian Thomas (ankle) and wideout Laviska Shenault (hamstring) were all listed on the injury report as limited participants.
All five players were on the field during the media session on Thursday. Thomas, Thomas-Oliver and Woods were officially listed as limited participants and Horn practiced in a full capacity. According to the injury status report, Shenault didn’t officially practice.
Defensive end Marquise Haynes (knee) was added to the injury report and also didn’t officially practice. Linebacker Frankie Luvu (shoulder) was also added to the report and was a limited participant. Luvu wore a green jersey during the workout.