It appears the Carolina Panthers will again have to find a way to compete without their best player. On Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey is not expected to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a right shoulder injury he suffered the previous Sunday. According to Schefter, McCaffrey will now be considered "week to week." McCaffrey will receive a second opinion on his shoulder injury, ESPN's David Newton reports and CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones confirms.
The former No. 8 overall pick made his return to the field last week against the Kansas City Chiefs after suffering an ankle injury in Week 2 against the Buccaneers. Overall it was a pretty impressive return, as McCaffrey rushed 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, and also caught 10 passes for 82 yards and another score. However, he did suffer the shoulder injury which puts his status in doubt moving forward.
Despite being double-digit underdogs against Patrick Mahomes and Co., Carolina took Kansas City down to the wire. The Panthers lost 33-31, and the 31 points they registered ties for the highest point tally Carolina has recorded this season.
With McCaffrey out, again expect Mike Davis to take over as the dual-threat weapon in the backfield. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is coming off of an impressive performance against the Chiefs, as he completed 36 of 49 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 19 yards and another score. He will also be expected to step up in McCaffrey's absence.