CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Welcome back Christian McCaffrey, we don’t really care to use you.

Spare me the “but he had a cut shin” because he practiced fully and fit in all his normal work ahead of the Carolina Panthers’ season-opener at home against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Yet, McCaffrey only touched the ball 14 times, including 10 carries for 33 yards. His day was only spared by finding the end zone in the last-second loss.

Breaking it down even further, McCaffrey only touched the ball twice in the first quarter when the Panthers as a whole only had six total yards. Then, he only added two more touches in the second quarter. Have you read “only” enough yet?

This isn’t enough for a running back many are still making a case for as one of the best backs in the NFL.

McCaffrey is one of the most talented running backs in the league, operating as a pass-catching back, too. Yet, he only hauled in four passes for 24 yards, giving him just more than 50 yards in the game.

For a player who is finally healthy after only playing 10 of the last 33 games for Carolina, what gives, Ben McAdoo?

McCaffrey has proven early success, playing in all 16 games his first three seasons for Carolina and posting 1,000-plus yard years in two of them. McCaffrey tallied 2,920 yards in that span, with career highs in yards (1,387) and touchdowns (15) in 2019 before needing two seasons to reach double-digit games played again.

Carolina left quarterback Baker Mayfield out to dry in a matchup with his former team who wanted nothing more than to show him he made a mistake in not working with Cleveland management to return to the Browns.

Mayfield went 16-for-27, misfiring on nearly as many passes as he did completing them, and tossed just as many touchdowns as he did interceptions (one). So tell me why you didn’t use one of the best running backs in the league, Ben.

Not to mention, McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million extension to make him the highest-paid running back in NFL history following the 2021 season — that still stands.

$16 million per season for 50 yards per game, that’s one way to get fired, Ben.