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Panthers place Christian McCaffrey on season-ending injured reserve

The Panthers’ running back injured his ankle against the Dolphins in Week 12.

Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Panthers have placed oft-injured running back Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve, ending his season after he sustained an ankle injury in the Panthers’ Week 12 loss to the Dolphins.

Regardless of how serious McCaffrey’s ankle injury is — and we know it’s at least a 3-week injury or they wouldn’t have placed him on injured reserve ahead of a bye week — the team cannot re-activate him from injured reserve per NFL rules since this is the second time he has been placed on injured reserve this season.

This will be the second straight year that McCaffrey has been plagued with injuries. McCaffrey missed 13 of the team’s 16 games last year with multiple injuries, and has been placed on injured reserve for the second time in 2021. Since the Panthers gave him a 4-year, $64 million extension last April that made him the highest-paid running back in the league, McCaffrey will have only appeared in 10 of the team’s 33 games at the end of the 2021 season.

The Panthers will have to rely on the combination of Chuba Hubbard and Ameer Abdullah to get them through the remainder of the 2021 season, and if their record in games without CMC in the lineup this season is any indication (1-4 in five games), we could be in for a bad time over the next six weeks.

What do you think, Panthers fans? Do you have any hope the Panthers can overcome this news? Why or why not?