3 reasons why the Panthers shouldn’t rush Christian McCaffrey back

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey has been given the green light to return from IR ahead of the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Chicago Bears.

The Carolina Panthers might be getting Christian McCaffrey back sooner than expected. Their star running back was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. But he is now eligible to return from the reserve/injured list after working hard to recover ahead of schedule.

This would be another significant boost for Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The Carolina Panthers are going to put McCaffrey through the wringer before deciding whether he can take the field in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears at Bank of America Stadium. But this is a situation that needs to be handled cautiously by the organization.

Although the Panthers are on a three-game winning run despite not having their face of the franchise, any long-term success that comes in Carolina will be largely dependent on McCaffrey’s production. The All-Pro became only the third running back in NFL history to go over 1,000-yards rushing and receiving in the same season last time out, which was another significant milestone from what has been a standout career to date.

Carolina’s preseason projection as an also-ran now seems like a distant memory. They are a young group who is developing all the time and if they can come through some stuff upcoming challenges relatively unscathed, it might end up with a surprise postseason berth with an extra playoff spot up for grabs in 2020.

McCaffrey’s talent has been there for all to see since he entered the league. But here are three reasons why the Panthers shouldn’t rush him back.