Christian McCaffrey was limited throughout the week of practice leading up to Carolina's Week 5 matchup with the Eagles, but the club ultimately chose to keep their star back on the shelf. This week, McCaffrey again was limited in practice, and despite optimism that he might return to the field against the Vikings on Sunday, Carolina officially ruled out the star running back on Friday.
"Honestly, probably 50-50 on Christian," coach Matt Rhule said a day earlier, via the official team website. "It's going to come down to how he feels. So we'll wait to see how he responds to today and go from there."
McCaffrey will miss his third consecutive game of the season for a Panthers team that is looking to bounce back from a Week 5 loss to Philadelphia. Carolina has lost both of its games during McCaffrey's absence, but the rushing attack led by rookie Chuba Hubbard has been solid. Last week, Hubbard totaled 101 yards on the ground on 4.2 yards per carry and caught five of his six targets for 33 yards.
Even with Hubbard playing well, however, McCaffrey is a true game-changing talent when healthy and makes the Panthers' offense that much more dynamic, so his absence will certainly be a blow.