CHARLOTTE — The Panthers on Tuesday designated running back Christian McCaffrey to return from the reserve/injured list. The move means he can begin practicing, and the team now has 21 days to put him back on the active roster.
McCaffrey, who hasn’t played since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2, showed up to Tuesday’s practice in a red, non-contact jersey and baseball cap. But he soon changed into a black jersey and helmet during the portion of practice open to the media.
Designating McCaffrey to return increases the possibility he could face the Falcons on Thursday Night Football. But if the Panthers decide that turnaround is too tight, he could instead return for next week’s trip to Kansas City.
In his two games this season, McCaffrey recorded 223 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns.
Running back Mike Davis has started the last five games in McCaffrey’s absence, recording 517 yards from scrimmage with four total touchdowns.
On Monday, Panthers coach Matt Rhule said “it’s a possibility” star running back Christian McCaffrey could return to action Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons.
Rhule said “it’s sort of out of my hands, but I am hopeful we will have him,” adding that the decision is largely up to the team’s training staff.
McCaffrey was back on the practice field Monday wearing a red jersey signifying an injured player and he remains on the team’s injured reserve list for now. The 2019 All-Pro running back has missed the past five games with a high ankle sprain.
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