3 ways the Panthers can help Christian McCaffrey in 2021

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

There is a lot expected of Christian McCaffrey when he returns from injury, but the Carolina Panthers also need to play their part in 2021.

The Carolina Panthers finished the 2020 season with a 5-11 record for the second straight year. They were far more competitive than many expected after so much player turnover in the first campaign under Matt Rhule’s leadership, but their inability to get over the line in critical moments ended up costing them a chance of a winning record or even a surprise playoff appearance in a weak NFC overall.

One of the main factors for this – outside of Teddy Bridgewater’s poor play under center – was the absence of running back Christian McCaffrey. The All-Pro managed to turn out in just three games for the Panthers due to various injury problems, which is a far cry from the iron man image he portrayed over his first three years in the NFL.

Had McCaffrey been on the field for the entire season, things might have been different. The former Stanford star is back and raring to go judging by his offseason workout videos, but Carolina needs to learn some lessons from this if they want to keep their face of the franchise at the top of his game.

This will be absolutely pivotal to their chances of progression, especially considering how fine the margins were last time around. McCaffrey has shouldered a heavy burden over recent seasons that may have come back to haunt the Panthers in 2020, so they can ill-afford to make the same sort of mistakes again.

With this in mind, here are three ways the Panthers can help McCaffrey when competitive action rolls around in 2021.