5 big riddles Matt Rhule must solve at Panthers 2021 training camp

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

How can the Carolina Panthers keep Christian McCaffrey healthy?

This could be the biggest conundrum facing the Carolina Panthers this offseason. How can they avoid further injury complications regarding the face of the franchise?

There’s no doubt Carolina’s 2020 record would have looked far different had Christian McCaffrey been on the field for every game. The Panthers deserve credit for being highly competitive without the All-Pro, even if they did miss his presence in key moments considerably.

Thankfully, McCaffrey looks the part and appears ready to hit the ground running.

Great news, obviously. But the Panthers can ill-afford the former Stanford star going down again with far more on the line in the second year of Matt Rhule’s reign.

Finding the right balance is key. McCaffrey will remain the focal point, but taking some touches and targets away would be a wise move.

Much will obviously depend on how the rookie trio of Chuba Hubbard, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Shi Smith adapt to their new surroundings at training camp. Their production and performances will give Carolina a better indication of just how much pressure they can take off McCaffrey next season.

This is a precarious situation and one the Panthers need to get absolutely spot on. They’ll only go so far without McCaffrey, after all.