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Matt Rhule Reveals If He Worries About Christian McCaffrey's Injuries

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 31: Head Coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on after the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Christian McCaffrey has struggled to stay on the field during the last two seasons. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that these injury woes ensued after he tallied a whopping 403 touches in 2019.

It would seemingly behoove the Carolina Panthers to manage the running back's workload to help avoid another lengthy absence in 2022. However, head coach Matt Rhule won't overly protect his star player.

“I’m not spending my time worrying about, ‘hey, will Christian get hurt?’” Rhule said Wednesday, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “We are thinking about Christian in one way only — and that’s attack."

Rhule wants to get as much out of McCaffrey, whom he called "a dominant football player," as he can.

“He plays a high-contact, high-percentage-of-injury position,” Rhule said. “We’re going to put him out there and play him. We want to have all of our best players for as long as possible.”

Yet the Panthers also realize multiple ailments have limited McCaffrey to 10 games over the last two seasons. They added D'Onta Foreman as an additional insurance policy alongside fellow backup Chuba Hubbard.

Per The Athletic's Joseph Person, the Panthers also have "a plan to be smarter with McCaffrey during the regular season." While Rhule appears to have ruled out anything close to a timeshare, CMC is also unlikely to match 2019's hefty workload.

McCaffrey exceeded 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in two straight exemplary seasons before succumbing to multiple setbacks in 2020 and 2021. A successful return could do wonders for a Panthers offense that accrued the NFL's third-fewest yards last season.