Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Panthers RB McCaffrey could return vs. Chiefs

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is making progress toward a return from a Week 2 ankle injury, coach Matt Rhule said Thursday.

Rhule said McCaffrey is “trending in the right direction” in terms of being available for Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs. McCaffrey is currently on injured reserve and has missed the past six games.

“If we played right now, I feel he’d be able to play,” Rhule told reporters.

Rhule said he wants to wait and make sure his star runner doesn’t sustain a setback before the team activates him off IR. But he definitely liked what he witnessed during Thursday’s practice.

“Christian looked good today,” Rhule said. “He looked fresh and fast. He recovered well from yesterday.”

McCaffrey, who signed a four-year, $64 million extension in the offseason, rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns and caught seven passes for 67 yards in Carolina’s first two games.

Last season, McCaffrey became the third player in NFL history to accumulate 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. He had 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards to join Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) as members of the club.

A first-round pick (eighth overall) in 2017, McCaffrey has gained 5,666 yards from scrimmage and scored 43 TDs in 50 career games.

Journeyman Mike Davis has been filling in for McCaffrey and has rushed for 350 yards and two touchdowns and caught 38 passes for 244 yards and two scores this season.

Also, defensive end Marquis Haynes (shoulder) sat out Thursday’s practice. He has three sacks in eight games this season.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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