CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY/WNCN) — Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey is not available via trade, according to Will Kunkel of Charlotte Sports Live.

Rumors of a potential trade circulated Wednesday after a Washington Post report stated that McCaffrey was a “key name to keep an eye on” ahead of the October trade deadline.

The report said that the Panthers would be willing to “eat a chunk of salary” to move the running back.

Will Kunkel’s sources refute that report.

McCaffrey’s previous two seasons in Carolina have been marred by injuries. He only played in three games during the Panthers’ 2020 campaign. He followed up by competing in only seven games in 2021.

The starting running back has stayed mostly healthy so far in 2022 but has only run for 270 yards through four games for the 1-4 Panthers.

He had eight carries for 27 yards in the Panthers’ 26-16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The Post also wrote “Carolina doesn’t have a quarterback or a quality roster, and this team isn’t loaded with extra draft picks, either. Either way, morale is very low in Carolina, and frustration is mounting.”

On Sept. 13, CBS 17’s Digitial Content Editor Kayla Morton wrote an opinion column after Carolina’s offensive coordinator failed to use McCaffrey to his abilities in his return from injury and noticed a problematic pattern.

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.

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.

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. Suddenly, his 270 rushing yards this season are making sense.

Furthermore, Morton also reported General Manager Scott Fitterer had no intentions of trading McCaffrey in January, but would “never not take the call.”

“I would love for him to be here but I would never not take a call,” Fitterer told reporters in January. “If somebody calls and offers something crazy, yeah, you would look at it but there is no intentions right now of trading Christian McCaffrey.”

Is that the case now?

The Panthers take on the San Francisco 49ers at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.