Should the Panthers shut Christian McCaffrey down for the season?
By Dean Jones
The argument for shutting down Christian McCaffrey
This would probably be a last resort for the Carolina Panthers. However, if the prognosis on Christian McCaffrey doesn’t get any better, it is a realistic prospect.
The Panthers aren’t playing for a great deal this season. Their one-time playoff hopes are now a distant memory and risking their face of the franchise when he isn’t at 100 percent doesn’t seem to be the smart way to go.
This would be the proverbial version of waving the white flag, which is something that would send the wrong message and is not in keeping with the way Matt Rhule has approached his first few months in Carolina.
Putting McCaffrey further at risk when it appears the cracks are beginning to show regarding his durability is undoubtedly a concern. Carolina has leaned heavily on their best offensive weapon over the last two seasons and this was always going to come with its fair share of complications down the line.
If McCaffrey is ruled out for the next two weeks, for example, Carolina only has a few games left and with very little to contest in the way of a postseason berth, the majority of starters might not even be on the field for their final outing at home to the New Orleans Saints.
The 2021 season is far more important in the grand scheme of things. Giving McCaffrey some prolonged time to recover from his ever-increasing ailments and reduce the risk of further complications when the team is in a better position to challenge is not out of the realms of possibility.