5 key observations from Panthers joint practices with Patriots Day 1

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Brandon Smith
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Brandon Smith /
5 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey was sensational

Christian McCaffrey didn’t turn out at the Washington Commanders and is unlikely to suit up during the final two preseason games. But the Carolina Panthers padded him up for Tuesday’s practice and he already looked in midseason form.

McCaffrey produced an electrifying display that had it all. Whether it was impressive running, smooth routes, soft hands, or exceptional blocking, there is nothing the All-Pro cannot do on the football field.

The talent has never been in question where McCaffrey is concerned. He is the league’s best dual-threat player at the position and looks back to his best heading into a crucial 2022 campaign.

Keeping him healthy is the biggest priority. Anything less will be deemed a major failure by coaches and the player after two years of inactivity that came with grave implications.

There’s nothing wrong with making McCaffrey the focal point. Opposing defenses completely shift their approach when he’s in the backfield, which can be used in a positive fashion by offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo without putting the former first-round pick in the firing line.

One could be forgiven for forgetting just how elite McCaffrey is given that he’s turned out just 10 times over the last two seasons. But make no mistake, the Stanford product is a man on a mission to make everyone remember in 2022.

Must Read. 4 Carolina Panthers players facing boom or bust seasons in 2022. light