5 shining stars from the Panthers win vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

How good it was to see Christian McCaffrey back.

And how the Carolina Panthers have missed him.

The star running back wasted absolutely no time reaffirming his status as the league’s best dual-threat player at the position. McCaffrey was absolutely sensational throughout his first taste of competitive action for 308 days after appearing in just three games last time around due to various injury complications.

McCaffrey looked like his explosive self, gaining yards both in the run game and becoming a valuable outlet for Sam Darnold to call upon under pressure. If he can stay healthy for the entire campaign, the Panthers can make progress in Year 2 of Matt Rhule’s reign.

The former Stanford product spoke after the game about how happy he was to be back out there. Carolina will need this sort of energy from their face of the franchise, who still shouldered a heavy workload despite the coaching staff sitting him out on one or two occasions for rest purposes.

Simply foot, McCaffrey was a breath of fresh air. He even came up with an essential block on Darnold’s long touchdown to Robby Anderson that simply wouldn’t have occurred had he not picked up the blown assignment.

McCaffrey finished with 187 all-purpose yards on 30 combined touches. Not a bad return by any stretch of the imagination and one that was a sight for sore eyes in Carolina.