The Packers will take on a Panthers team likely without Christian McCaffrey in Week 14.
The next two games looked to be a daunting challenge for the Green Bay Packers‘ run defense with matchups against Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry.
However, it’s possible McCaffrey will be out of Saturday night’s game versus the Carolina Panthers.
According to Steve Reed of The Associated Press, Panthers coach Matt Rhule isn’t expecting McCaffrey to make his return against the Packers.
From the Panthers’ perspective, it makes sense to be cautious. With only four wins on the season, Carolina is a long way off the playoff positions and will be preparing for the offseason plans to build for 2021.
Clearly McCaffrey, a first-team All-Pro in 2019, is a huge part of their plans moving forward. It would make no sense to rush him back from injury too soon.
In last year’s meeting with the Panthers, the Packers did about as well as you could possibly hope for against McCaffrey with the star running back rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He did also add six catches for 33 yards.
However, with the game on the line, the Packers’ defense made a stop on the one-yard line as time expired to prevent the Panthers potentially tying it and sending the game to overtime.
If McCaffrey is out, Mike Davis will be the starting running back for Carolina. He has rushed for 555 yards and five touchdowns this season, starting 10 games for the Panthers while McCaffrey has missed time.
Even with McCaffrey out, the Panthers still have plenty of talent on offense. The Packers will need to put in a good performance to get the all-important victory.
With a win, they’ll move a step closer to the number one seed. Running the table will be enough for Green Bay to achieve that goal for the first time in almost a decade.