4 positives from the Carolina Panthers’ Week 9 loss at the Chiefs

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey’s return to action

All eyes were on Christian McCaffrey as he made his triumphant return to the lineup following a six-week absence due to a high ankle sprain. There was plenty of speculation surrounding just how much of the load he’d shoulder during his first contest back, but it was clear from the outset his role would be a big one.

Which, in all honesty, didn’t come as a surprise.

McCaffrey took the game’s first throw and rounded off an impressive opening drive with a touchdown. He was a constant thorn in Kansas City’s side and the offense looked far more at ease knowing their former first-round pick was in the backfield.

Mike Davis performed well in McCaffrey’s absence, but his skill set pales in comparison to that of the All-Pro. He is the best dual-threat back in the NFL for a reason and came up with some sensational plays to announce his return to fitness in no uncertain terms.

The Carolina Panthers were dealt a cruel blow when McCaffrey was forced off the field with a rib injury on the game’s crucial final drive, where they needed just three points in pursuit of pulling off the shock of the season.

Hopefully, for the player and the organization, it is nothing serious and he can build on a hugely encouraging return that eventually resulted in 151 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns from 28 combined touches throughout the game.