Christian McCaffrey may be seeing the field in Weke 8 for the first time since getting injured in the second game of the year. He has missed the past five Panthers games while dealing with a high-ankle sprain that landed him on IR and now is essentially “questionable” ahead of a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Falcons. Obviously, McCaffrey’s active/inactive status is going to have a massive impact on fantasy football owners, and they will undoubtedly be looking for updates on his condition before making their first key start ’em, sit ’em decision of Week 8.
We’ll be here providing the latest news below about McCaffrey right up until the active/inactive report is released at around 6:50 p.m. ET on Thursday. For more fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is Christian McCaffrey playing Thursday night?
McCaffrey returned to Panthers practice at the start of this week and was seen wearing a non-contact jersey at both Monday and Tuesday’s practice.
While initial reports indicated that McCaffrey was a “long-shot” to play in Week 8, the Panthers changed their tune a bit on Tuesday. At that point, Panthers coach Matt Rhule indicated that he was “hopeful” McCaffrey could play against the Falcons, so there’s at least some optimism from the team that he will suit up.
Further solidifying this notion is that fact that McCaffrey was officially designated to return from IR on Tuesday. That will give the team a chance to activate him before Thursday night’s game if he is ready.
Unfortunately, it also means that since McCaffrey is still technically on IR, the team doesn’t have to give him an injury status for Thursday night. They just have until 4 p.m. ET to activate him. If they do, then McCaffrey will likely do a pre-game workout to see if he can play, much like Sterling Shepard did for the Giants last week. So, in essence, McCaffrey should be viewed as “questionable” and may truly be a game-time decision.
If McCaffrey plays, he will be a top-five RB for Week 8, as he will be taking on an Atlanta defense that has struggled all season on defense and particularly has struggled against pass-catching backs. If he can’t play, then Mike Davis will reap the rewards and will probably be a low-end RB1 in a great matchup. When these teams met in Week 5, Davis had 89 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards (on nine catches), and a receiving TD.
We’ll soon see if McCaffrey is going to be in action for the Panthers. Check back frequently for the latest updates on the plan for McCaffrey, Davis, and the Panthers in Week 8.