How many touches should Christian McCaffrey get at the Chiefs?

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

87. Sunday, Nov 8. 7-1. 124. 1 PM ET. 3-5. FOX. Chiefs -12

How many touches should Christian McCaffrey get at the Chiefs?

The Carolina Panthers might just have their star running back in the lineup in their Week 9 game at the Kansas City Chiefs. Christian McCaffrey will practice in the coming days, with the player hoping to see some competitive action for the first time since he went off with a high ankle sprain in their second game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

To say this would be a boost to the Panthers would be something of an understatement. McCaffrey is the face of the franchise who has been sorely missed during their three-game slump. But it’s obvious that Carolina is being ultra-cautious with their best offensive weapon, and with good reason.

It would be nothing short of disastrous if McCaffrey suffered a recurrence of the injury if not fully healed. Head coach Matt Rhule declared in his Monday press conference that the decision will ultimately come down to the doctors as to whether the former first-round pick is going to be activated to the 53-man roster.

Christian McCaffrey should not carry the load immediately.

Providing McCaffrey gets the green light to suit up, do not expect him to carry the majority of the workload as we’ve seen in days gone by. This offense has done well overall in his absence and blending him in gradually is smart coming up against a formidable Kansas City defensive front at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mike Davis has come in and done a solid job. So it would be a shock if he reverted to an unused backup.

Having a one-two punch at the position is something that might even preserve McCaffrey’s health, which is imperative for the Panthers after they gave him a four-year, $64 million deal with a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed this offseason.

McCaffrey’s return instantly changes the Chiefs’ priorities on defense. Even if the back wasn’t at 100 percent, he still has the potential to break-off big plays at will if given enough space.

This should free up room for Carolina’s potent wide receiver trio of Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, and D.J. Moore. Turning this game into a potential shootout is probably the best way they can achieve an unlikely win, which would obviously alter dramatically if McCaffrey failed to prove his fitness to the team’s medical staff.

The Panthers don’t have anything significant riding on either this game of the season in general. This has allowed them the luxury of taking their time with McCaffrey, but the shackles need to be released at some stage.

What better time than against the Super Bowl champions, who look well on course to defend their crown if their recent displays are any indication. Carolina is 12-point underdogs for a very good reason and even having McCaffrey wouldn’t dramatically alter the line.

Christian McCaffrey’s touches at the Chiefs: 10-15.

Much will depend on how McCaffrey’s conditioning is after missing so much action. But somewhere in the region of 10-15 touches is probably the best way to go, depending on how the game goes.

Christian McCaffrey’s imminent return comes at the perfect time. light. More

The last thing Carolina needs is further complications from an injury perspective regarding McCaffrey. Getting him back will give the whole organization a massive lift, but they shouldn’t go away from what’s been working since they’ve been without him.