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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Report: Panthers won’t push McCaffrey for Thursday return

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, but NFL Network reported the Panthers are planning to err on the side of caution.

McCaffrey is “close” to being cleared to return, head coach Matt Rhule said Friday, but he was not activated from injured reserve last week. That transaction will bring a 21-day window in which the Panthers can activate him from IR at any time.

Rhule said it was “likely” the Panthers would have McCaffrey available for the Nov. 8 game at Kansas City.

Since being sidelined by a high ankle sprain in Week 2, McCaffrey’s role has been filled by journeyman Mike Davis.

Davis, 27, was held to 12 yards on seven carries in a loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Carolina’s original timeline for McCaffrey’s return was 4-6 weeks. He was placed on IR on Sept. 23. Rules for the 2020 season allow for players to return to the active roster from injured reserve after 21 days.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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