Breaking down the Panthers roadmap to Christian McCaffrey’s health

(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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How can the Carolina Panthers keep running back Christian McCaffrey on the field for a full campaign in 2022?

Christian McCaffrey is the best dual-threat running back in the NFL when healthy. There is no arguing that point.

However, that has been less than the case of late for the All-Pro.

Only three years removed from a record-setting season that will go down in history books, there are questions surrounding the future of McCaffrey and whether or not the star player even has a future with the Carolina Panthers beyond the current campaign.

The combination of toughness, balance, exceptional hands and football IQ is once-in-a-generation as far as McCaffrey is concerned. The only piece of the pie that seems to be missing is durability.

This is something the Panthers are painfully familiar with after the shocking retirement of Luke Kuechly following the 2019 season to preserve the legendary linebacker’s long-term health.

While injuries, at their core, are unpredictable, certain things can be done to lessen the risk. Things that Carolina absolutely has to put into place if they want any chance of McCaffrey lasting the full year.

When looking at the types of injuries that McCaffrey has sustained to date, it shows a concerning trend of soft tissue pulls and sprains that have all occurred in the same leg. The thing about these complications is that they tend to reoccur.

Once instability is there it usually sticks around. Especially if a player is rushed back into action like the Panthers have seemingly done in recent years.

So what can the team do to limit the risk of another injury?