Report: Christian McCaffrey not expected to return for Week 8

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

3-4. 87. 1-6. Thursday, October 29. 8.20 PM ET. 44. FOX/NFL Network/Amazon. Panthers -2.5

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is not expected to take the field against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football.

The Carolina Panthers have aired on the side of caution regarding Christian McCaffrey. This is a trend that is continuing ahead of their Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the star running back is not yet ready to be activated by the Carolina Panthers in Week 8 despite being designated to return from the reserve/injured list. This means that Mike Davis will continue to assume the No. 1 role on the national stage, which also gives McCaffrey a longer period to be healthy for the stiff challenging awaiting them at the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Getting McCaffrey back for this one was a long shot, but is no less disappointing. The former first-round pick hasn’t been seen on the field since suffering a high ankle sprain against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, which is the first long spell of the sidelines since he entered the league.

The Carolina Panthers will rely on Mike Davis and others once again.

Davis has done extremely well in McCaffrey’s absence, but his production has finished significantly over the last fortnight. The All-Pro was sorely missed in Carolina’s back-to-back losses and not having him on the field forces more pressure on others to deliver the goods.

Hopefully, this will be the last time that the Panthers don’t have McCaffrey on their roster. He is the face of the franchise who came into the season on the back of a historic campaign that saw him become only the third running back in NFL history to go over 1,000-yards rushing and receiving in the same year.

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This puts more onus on Carolina’s exceptional passing attack to get the job done. Teddy Bridgewater and company have been a welcome boost to the organization through the first seven weeks and this is a trend that can hopefully continue long into the future.

McCaffrey is edging closer, but the Panthers’ nationally televised game has come too soon.