Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey Ends Season Prematurely For Second Straight Year

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in 2019
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in 2019. Photo by John Mersits/CSM/Shutterstock

Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey will be forced to spend another lengthy spell on the sidelines. According to the team’s official statement issued late on Monday, McCaffrey is dealing with a severe ankle injury and won’t play again in 2021.

This will be the second straight year that McCaffrey ends his season prematurely. He managed to play only three games in 2020 before being ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury.

McCaffrey was hurt in the second quarter of a 33-10 loss against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Panthers were initially optimistic that the 25-year-old avoided a major injury, but further tests showed that he would need significant downtime to recover.

According to ESPN, McCaffrey won’t need surgery on his ankle, and Carolina expects him to be fully fit in time for the 2022 NFL season.

McCaffrey already missed time this year, struggling with a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 3. He has 442 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in 2021 while also adding 37 catches for 343 yards and a receiving TD.

This represents a major blow for the Carolina Panthers as the team looks to get back into the playoff conversation. The Panthers lost three out of their past four games and are currently at the bottom of the NFC South with a 5-7 record.