4 most important Panthers players at the Chiefs in Week 9
By Dean Jones
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB
He’s back, finally.
Christian McCaffrey has been officially activated to the 53-man roster and is set to take his place in the lineup for the first time since Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There just no telling just how much this is going to do morale-wise for everyone associated with the organization and he is sure to play a key role at the Chiefs.
The Carolina Panthers wouldn’t be putting him out there unless he was 100 percent, or at least extremely close to it. They don’t really have much to play for and preserving McCaffrey’s long-term health is far more important than any immediate gain.
That being said, having the All-Pro on the field completely alters the complexion of how Kansas City will approach this game defensively. Expected to see the Chiefs stacking the box consistently, especially in early down situations, which might represent a good opportunity for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to air the ball out with more space to work with on the outside.
Carolina does have the weapons to hurt a secondary that has been suspect at times. But it’s vital McCaffrey hits the ground running and keeps the defense honest despite his lack of activity.
Mike Davis should also have a part to play, albeit in a lesser role. A one-two punch at running back is something the Panthers haven’t had since the days of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who were a devastating tandem during their time together.