How will the Carolina Panthers cope without Christian McCaffrey?

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

The Carolina Panthers will be without Christian McCaffrey in Week 3 and beyond, but how will they cope without the star running back?

Things have officially gone from bad to worse for the Carolina Panthers.

Christian McCaffrey went out of the game at the Buccaneers with an apparent ankle injury that was serious enough to keep him off the field during a crucial period in the second half. The running back has been an iron man during his career so far and having him miss time is nothing short of a disaster for the Carolina Panthers and a roster that is going through plenty of growing pains.

It is just the Panthers’ luck that McCaffrey would get hurt after signing a four-year, $64 million deal with a $21 million signing bonus, and $38 million guaranteed this offseason. He hasn’t missed a game during a standout career so far that has put him well on course for the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he keeps up his phenomenal production. But this latest concerning turn of events typify how Carolina’s 2020 campaign has gone so far.

The initial prognosis surrounding McCaffrey isn’t good. The new face of the franchise is expected to miss between 4-6 weeks of action. And the Panthers might be prudent to be extra cautious with an injury like this.

Ankle knocks do tend to flare up again if the player hasn’t recovered fully. There isn’t much riding on this season for the Panthers from a results perspective, so they have the luxury of keeping McCaffrey off the field for as long as the medical staff thinks is needed to ensure the All-Pro returns at 100 percent.

This opens the door for other players at the position. But filling McCaffrey’s shoes is an almost impossible task.