Carolina Panthers mailbag: Christian McCaffrey, Matt Corral and more

(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 /

Question No. 2

Would you use Christian McCaffrey in the slot more with such a deep backfield instead of risking injury? – Joe Damron

Great question, Joe!

This is a very interesting discussion surrounding Christian McCaffrey; do you play him in the slot more to utilize his pass-catching abilities, or continue to utilize him the same as you have done in the past while rotating in D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard more often?

To answer your question, Joe, I would say that McCaffrey is risking injury no matter where he lines up. I’m not sure that aligning the former first-round pick in the slot more will decrease his chances of avoiding further problems.

McCaffrey would still have the same risks if he played fewer snaps each game.

I think that McCaffrey’s health this season will be how he approaches things such as workouts and practice reps. Matt Rhule has said previously that the coaches and trainers will have a plan for the Stanford product.

The hope now is that these new approaches will keep No. 22 on the field for more than 10 games.

Question No. 3

What would our record be if Baker Mayfield starts all season and what would our record be if Jimmy Garoppolo starts? – Quarry Stephens

Thank you for your question, Quarry!

I definitely see an improvement in the Carolina Panthers’ win-loss column from the last couple of seasons. Keep in mind that both quarterbacks are unique in their own ways.

However, while they may not be very good or above-average quarterbacks, both Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield are instant upgrades over Sam Darnold, the projected starter.

With Garoppolo under center for the Panthers and assuming things go well in the areas of uncertainty or concern, I would say nine to 10 wins is realistic considering the team’s schedule.

With Mayfield, I think seven to eight wins is a very reasonable expectation with the current roster and schedule in consideration.