League sources confirmed to ESPN that the Carolina Panthers who ran back to Christian McCaffrey will not get prime-time rewards from a sprained ankle.
The Panthers (3-4) decided to deactivate McCaffrey in the national televised game against the Atlanta Falcons (1-6) on Thursday night, which means he may return next week against the Kansas City Chiefs .
McCaffrey resumed practice on Monday and was designated to recover from the injured reserve player on Tuesday. But because it was a short week and McCaffrey hadn’t fully practiced, the team chose to proceed with caution.
The NFL Network first reported on Thursday that McCaffrey will not play with Atlanta.
McCaffrey was injured in the loss to Tampa Bay in Week 2, and the Panthers lost 0-2. They are 3-2 behind the league̵
Davis fumbled an average of 100 yards per game in the first four games, and was subsequently grabbed for 12 yards and 24 yards in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to New Orleans.
The most helpful aspect of McCaffrey is the running competition in the red zone. Carolina ranks 27th in touchdown percentage. He scored four sprint touchdowns in the first two games. Davis has only two-fifths of the games.
Coach Matt Rhule blamed Carolina’s red zone problems on the lack of games under the 20s.
When asked if McCaffrey would be back this week or next week earlier this week, Rhule said: “It’s not too early.”