5 players the Carolina Panthers cannot afford to lose to injury in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

This one is obvious and there is evidence to suggest it’s more of a worry than ever.

Christian McCaffrey turned out just seven times for the Carolina Panthers in 2021 thanks to a series of nagging problems. This takes his tally to 10 games in two seasons and although he appears fresh in early offseason workouts, something has to change.

McCaffrey has altered his approach to preparation following a conversation with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. The Panthers are also using alternative methods to ensure their best offensive weapon hits the ground running and can make a telling contribution from start to finish.

The former first-round pick is an indispensable member of the roster. One only has to look at how things unraveled without him to see that.

However, relying too heavily on McCaffrey is no longer an option. The Panthers must depend on their primary pass-catchers and also provide D’Onta Foreman with sufficient touches out of the backfield after he arrived from the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

Ben McAdoo will be largely responsible for this. But the offensive coordinator must not go back to old team habits where McCaffrey is concerned even if they are struggling elsewhere.

Should McCaffrey suffer more complications through injury, then Carolina will likely underachieve. It will also plunge the player’s future with the franchise in doubt.