Christian McCaffrey Injury: When Will RB Return?

Written By Matt Burke on December 22, 2020

Sports bettors and fantasy football owners alike are keeping close tabs on the status of arguably the most dynamic player in the NFL, Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey missed six games early in the season with a high ankle sprain, and he was injured again in Week 9 against the Chiefs when he banged up his shoulder. The Panthers star RB has now missed the last five games.

CMC was set to return in Week 14 against the Broncos but a set-back postponed his return. McCaffrey tweaked his quad while working out with the team.

The Panthers maintain that McCaffrey will be back this year, but there are only two games left in the season. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said on Tuesday that he is hopeful McCaffrey will be at practice this week, possibly opening the door for his return this Sunday against Washington.

“I’m hopeful to see him practice on Wednesday,” Rhule told ESPN. “If he can than I think we’re on track. If he can’t, then I probably would just give those reps to Mike [Davis] and Rodney [Smith] and prepare them to play. It’s been a long time for Christian in terms of practicing, so even if he’s healthy to play, he’ll need to practice some. So I’ll have a better feel Wednesday, but I think there’s a possibility.

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When will Christian McCaffrey be back?

The Panthers have no shot at a postseason berth due to their 4-10 record. They have just one win in their last nine games – a Week 11 victory over the Lions. With not much to play for down the stretch, the Panthers are taking their time with their star RB.

If McCaffrey does not return this Sunday against Washington, a Week 17 comeback at home against the Saints is a possibility.

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The Panthers were +12000 to win the Super Bowl before the season started at FanDuel Sportsbook, which were the fourth highest odds in the league.

A major obstacle that stood in the way of Carolina making the postseason this year was that the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were both expected to be strong. Both the Bucs and Saints have lived up to those expectations. New Orleans is charging toward a division title at 10-4 and 9-5 Tampa Bay looks like it will take the 5, 6 or 7 seed in the NFC.

CMC 2020 season props update

Having missed so many games this season, it will be impossible for McCaffrey to eclipse the preseason over/under props that were set by sportsbooks.

At FanDuel, CMC’s total yardage over/under was a whopping 1974.5, and he was projected for 13.5 TDs ahead of the season.

He was his usual scintillating self in his last outing against the Chiefs as he racked up 69 yards rushing and 82 yards receiving. CMC had both a rushing and receiving touchdown.

The dynamic back has 374 yards of total offense so far this year, leaving him 1601 yards short of FanDuel’s number.

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Written by
Matt Burke

Matt Burke is the Sports Editor and Head of Evergreen/SEO Content at He is the Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of MetroBet, a digital and print sports betting platform, and was the Executive Sports Editor at Metro US Newspapers (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) from 2014-2020. Matt has covered Super Bowls and Final Fours, and his work has appeared for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, the Eagle Tribune, Gloucester Daily Times and Newburyport Daily News. Matt is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

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