After playing in every game through his first three NFL seasons, Christian McCaffrey's 2020 season was derailed due to injury, limiting him to three appearances. His 2021 season didn't get off to a great start in that regard, either.
McCaffrey has been out since Week 3 with a hamstring strain. The injury was originally expected to keep him out for at least a few weeks. Now, it looks like the Carolina Panthers may get him back as soon as this weekend.
The 2019 First-Team All-Pro returned to the practice field today, saying he feels "great." He even indicated that he hopes to be ready for Sunday afternoon, when the Panthers host the Philadelphia Eagles.
McCaffrey's injury came in Week 3's Thursday night game against the Houston Texans. Speaking to the media about his recovery, he made it clear that he is no fan of the Thursday night games, and believes it may have contributed to the strain.
"So you get two days to recover, you hop on a plane, you get in a hotel, and then you go out and play in a football game," Christian McCaffrey added. "It’s really tough. But it is what it is. It’s part of the game. And, obviously, frustrating.”
He admitted that, if he had his way, he'd vote against playing on Thursday. Unfortunately for he and the many other players that feel that way, that isn't realistic, as the NFL looks to take up more of the weekly calendar, not less.
“If you’re going to ask me, I would definitely say — I think I’m not alone in this — but I’d probably argue against them,” McCaffrey said. “I understand though, it’s part of the game. I can sit up here and complain — I’m not complaining, that’s for sure. It is frustrating sometimes when you feel like something could’ve been avoided with a little more rest, you know? But I’m sure if I got through that game 100 percent, I wouldn’t be saying anything about it. So that’s just me and my personal views.”
On the year, McCaffrey has picked up 201 yards on 52 carries, with one touchdown so far. He has 16 receptions for 163 yards as well.
The Panthers and Eagles are set to kick off at 1 p.m. ET this Sunday.