5 burning questions the Carolina Panthers offense must answer in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

How much of the burden will Christian McCaffrey carry?

Getting running back Christian McCaffrey into the lineup is a huge bonus for the Carolina Panthers. His absence for all but three games of the 2020 season was sorely felt – especially in close games – so leaning on the All-Pro once again could make all the difference next time around.

McCaffrey had an iron man image before injuries took their toll during the previous campaign. Hopefully, for the player and the Panthers, normal service can resume.

However, if the coaching staff wants to preserve its most prized possession, then taking some of the pressure from McCaffrey is the smart move at this stage.

After all, any further complications staying healthy where the Stanford product is concerned would be an absolute catastrophe.

Carolina did end up drafting Chuba Hubbard in the fourth round, which should help on the premise that the Oklahoma State standout adjusts quickly to the NFL.

McCaffrey will always be the focal point for as long as he is putting up exceptional numbers. But the Panthers should approach his level of touches with extreme caution.

This is a riddle that Matt Rhule, Joe Brady, and McCaffrey himself will look to solve. And it’s not like the Panthers don’t have significant talent in the passing game to ease the burden.