5 early bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers season in 2022
By Luke Gray
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey will win Comeback Player of the Year
This is really a big season for Christian McCaffrey. After the huge extension given to him following the historic 1,000 yards rushing and receiving back in 2019, the former Stanford standout has not stayed healthy and featured just 10 times for the Carolina Panthers over the last two years, compiling just eight total scores in that time.
With this being the first season McCaffrey’s extension counts against the cap, the Panthers will be expecting big things from the man they selected No. 8 overall back in 2017. A lot hinges on how Carolina deals with the running back’s workload, which should be in the region of 20 carries and six receptions a game if they want to keep the player fresh.
The addition of D’Onta Foreman in the offseason should help reduce McCaffrey’s workload. The former Texas Longhorn showed he was an ample replacement when star man Derrick Henry went down for the Tennessee Titans and can assist in gaining hard yards in between the tackles.
Head coach Matt Rhule has said how he wants the Panthers to be more of a downhill rushing team. Having an RB2 who is a touch more than six foot tall and touching 240 pounds will go some way to help this.
If McCaffrey can stay on the field for an entire season it’s easily possible that the All-Pro could be named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He was the most dominant running back in football just three seasons ago and if the player finds that form again the Panthers will be a much better team.