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 /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Davis /

The production of Mike Davis

One of the reasons why the Carolina Panthers should air on the side of caution with Christian McCaffrey is the form of Mike Davis. The backup veteran has done an exemplary job filling in for the undisputed No. 1 option and has more than likely carved out a role for himself even when the former first-round pick is 100 percent.

Davis didn’t see much in the way of action until McCaffrey went down. However, the level of impact he has made since then has been nothing short of outstanding.

This will not only give the Panthers a legitimate one-two punch at the running back position. But it should also enable Carolina’s coaching staff to have the option of taking some of the load off their star player going forward.

McCaffrey’s carried the Panthers on his back in 2019, accumulating more than 400 combined touches during a historic campaign. Given the violent nature of playing the position, this is not sustainable if Carolina wants to get value for money on his recent four-year, $64 million contract extension that included a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed.

The fact that the Panthers haven’t missed a beat on offense without McCaffrey is a testament to how well Davis has done. He is the highest-graded player on the roster according to Pro Football Focus and this should give the organization a level of security when it comes to taking their time with an ankle injury that could go wrong again if it isn’t fully healed.