Christian McCaffrey is a long shot to play in Sunday’s tilt against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Carolina Panthers officially listed the running back as doubtful to play due to the hamstring injury suffered in Week 3. McCaffrey did not play Week 4.
The door is not entirely closed on him playing, but it’s barely ajar.
“Nothing much more to add. He’s been going. It’s doubtful he’ll play on Sunday. That could change. I’m not going to play any games,” coach Matt Rhule said Friday, via David Newton of ESPN.
CMC was a limited participant in all three practices this week. The back said Thursday he “definitely” had a chance to play this week, but it appears the Panthers will take a cautious approach.
Given the tendency of soft-tissue injures to crop back up if not fully healed, particularly for skill-position players, it behooves the Panthers to play it safe with their star. Better to miss one more game and come back in better shape rather than return under less than ideal conditions and be knocked out for a longer stretch.
If CMC does indeed miss Sunday’s game, rookie Chuba Hubbard would be in line to make his second start. The fourth-round pick rushed 13 times for 57 yards and added two catches for 14 yards last week. If the Panthers keep it closer against Philly than they did Dallas, Hubbard’s role should be more extensive in Week 5.
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