McCaffrey's passing game usage was extreme, even by his lofty standards. The absence of Greg Olsen (foot) certainly played a part in his usage, as did a game script that saw the Panthers trail throughout the second half. The Panthers undoubtedly want to get McCaffrey more involved on the ground as well, but in games such as Sunday's they'll clearly maximize the running back's talents through the air as needed. McCaffrey will look to continue the solid start to his season versus the Bengals in Week 3.
McCaffrey had five carries for 92 yards and a touchdown along with four catches for 28 yards on five targets in Friday's preseason game against the Dolphins.
McCaffrey was barely touched on a 71-yard touchdown scamper, showing what can happen when excellent speed meets terrible defense. He also had a reception for 18 yards and a pair of nine-yard carries, thoroughly dominating the early workload before C.J. Anderson got involved with five minutes remaining in the first half. Anderson finished with eight carries for 39 yards and two catches for nine yards, playing until midway through the third quarter. It was an encouraging night for anyone invested in McCaffrey; less so for those with stock in Anderson.
After sitting out Sunday's session with the ailment, McCaffrey was back on the field a day later donning full pads, indicating that he'll face no limitations heading into Thursday's preseason opener in Buffalo. It's expected that McCaffrey will only play a series or two in the first exhibition game as head coach Ron Rivera uses that contest to evaluate some of the more fringy roster candidates.
McCaffrey is not participating in Sunday's practice due to an illness, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer reports.
McCaffrey doesn't appear to be dealing with anything serious that could keep him out of practice for an extended period of time, but the Panthers won't force him to practice through an illness Sunday. The second-year running back is expected to see an increase in touches this season after racking up 117 carries and 80 catches as a rookie in 2017, so Carolina's offense needs McCaffrey as healthy as possible for Week 1 and beyond.
McCaffrey averaged just over 12 touches, including five per game through the air, as a rookie last season, when veteran Jonathan Stewart led the team's rushing attack. Although fellow pounder C.J. Anderson was signed following Stewart's release this offseason, it's McCaffrey who's seemingly slated to spearhead Carolina's backfield charge under new coordinator Norv Turner. Known for heavily utilizing his top tailback, and having worked with the similarly skilled Darren Sproles in the past, Turner profiles as someone fit to expand McCaffrey's game. Furthermore, citing McCaffrey's added muscle and average of over 25 touches per game his last couple college seasons, Rivera has offered a vote of confidence in the tailback's ability to approach 200 carries this season. While that would mean a large increase from his 117 totes last year, and quarterback Cam Newton will still have the offense run through him, more of McCaffrey would only figure to boost his stock heading into Year 2.
|Bye: Week 4|
|6||10/14/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|10||11/8/18||@ PIT||8:20 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|