Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey out ‘multiple weeks’ due to high ankle sprain

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) stiff arms Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) as he scores on a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey is out for several weeks after suffering an ankle injury suffered Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McCaffrey limped off the field after scoring a touchdown that cut Carolina’s deficit to 21-14 early in the fourth quarter. 

The Panthers said McCaffrey suffered a high ankle sprain two plays before the touchdown when the running back ran up the middle for two yards.

Carolina would go on to lose 31-17 to Tampa Bay.

“I hate it for him. No one wants to be out there and play more than Christian does, but everything happens for a reason,” head coach Matt Rhule said. “I’m sure he’ll rehab. I’m sure he’s rehabbing right now. I talked to him earlier today and he’ll get back as soon as he can.”

Sunday’s game in Los Angeles will be the first time McCaffrey has missed a game in more than three years in the NFL.

With new rules enacted for the 2020 season, the Panthers could potentially place McCaffrey on the reserve/injured list and bring him back after a minimum of three games. That would allow the club to fill his spot on the 53-man roster temporarily.

Before leaving the game, McCaffrey carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards and two touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 29 yards.

For the season, he has 41 carries and 156 yards and four touchdowns. He’s averaging 9.6 yards per carry.

The winless Panthers travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on Sunday.

Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m. on CBS 17.

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