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 Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon /

Reggie Bonnafon – Carolina Panthers RB

One of the more surprising omissions from the Carolina Panthers’ 53-man roster was Reggie Bonnafon. The running back was No. 2 on the depth chart before training camp. But he was unable to impress the coaching staff enough to make anything more than the practice squad.

Bonnafon will probably be activated to the full roster in the wake of Christian McCaffrey’s injury. Head coach Matt Rhule highlighted his confidence in Bonnafon’s ability to come in and do a job right away and he did have some notable highlights from limited touches in 2019.

There were some plays that Bonnafon would like to have back during his first taste of NFL action. But he did manage to finish the campaign with a lofty yards-per-carry average of 7.3 that would have been a huge confidence boost for the player.

This took a slight knock when his name wasn’t chosen for the initial roster. So it will be up to Bonnafon to convince offensive coordinator Joe Brady and others that he can be relied upon to produce the goods when it matters most.

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Losing McCaffrey is a bitter blow that has made the Panthers’ outlook in 2020 even bleaker than originally feared. A complementary piece like Bonnafon can plug the gap and probably do well. But given how much Carolina relies on their former first-round pick from start-to-finish, he is almost irreplaceable.