The Carolina Panthers have put Christian McCaffrey on the Injured Reserve list, ending his season and likely the Panthers’ season
On Monday morning, the Carolina Panthers officially announced they will be putting running back Christian McCaffrey on the Injured Reserve list for an ankle injury, ending his season. This is McCaffrey’s second stint on IR this season, having also been put on the list in mid-October with a hamstring injury.
McCaffrey, who injured his ankle in the Panthers’ Week 12 loss to the Miami Dolphins, was believed to have avoided a major injury initially, as indicated by head coach Matt Rhule’s comments on Sunday afternoon. However, after additional X-Ray tests on Monday, McCaffrey’s season has come to an end.
The #Panthers have placed RB Christian McCaffrey on Injured Reserve. Out for the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 29, 2021
The Carolina Panthers appear to be punting on a playoff push
After their embarrassing loss at the hands of the Dolphins, the Panthers appear to be calling it a season. Cam Newton was not the offensive fix that many thought he could be. The defense has become completely uninspired and non-existent. Now McCaffrey is out for the rest of the season, marking an all-time low for the Panthers’ 2021 season and likely the end of their playoff hopes.
The Panthers may have some “good” news coming soon, as Sam Darnold has begun practicing again and could be ready to play after the Panthers’ Week 13 bye week. Darnold was central to both the Panthers’ early-season success and their mid-season spiral. When he returns to the roster, he will likely take the starting quarterback role back from Cam Newton, which may be an upgrade, but not a very notable one.
At 5-7, the Panthers are currently in last place in the NFC South, and where they may not be completely out of the race for the playoffs and the divisional crown, the window has become extremely slim.