McCaffrey: "They Say 4-6 Weeks, Well That's a Challenge for Me"

Schuyler Callihan

Sunday afternoon was not a pleasant one for the Carolina Panthers for many reasons. Losing the game is one thing, but to lose star running back Christian McCaffrey to injury is another.

McCaffrey exited the game in the fourth quarter vs Tampa Bay with an ankle injury and was unable to return. On Monday, head coach Matt Rhule confirmed that McCaffrey will indeed miss "multiple weeks", but an actual timetable on his return remains unclear. Rhule also said that the team has not had any thoughts about putting him on the IR.

Several reports state that McCaffrey is likely to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain and although the Panthers aren't expected to contend in the NFC South, McCaffrey wants to get back as quickly as he can so he can help his team win games. 

"They say 4-6 weeks, well that's a challenge to me," McCaffrey said. "Hopefully I can get back a lot earlier than that, but I'm going to attack this just like I attack anything else and go from there." 

This is the first time that McCaffrey will miss time due to injury in his NFL career having played in 50 consecutive games since entering the league. He has proven to be a durable running back and has always taken great care of his body, which is what makes the injury so frustrating for the young star. 

"It sucks to be 100% transparent. Anytime you get injured it's a horrible thing you play football to play, not to sit out. This is part of the game and it happens, but I don't believe in coincidences, I think everything happens for a reason and I think everything is perspective and attitude - you can win or learn and right now is a learning experience for me. I've prided myself in being on the field and freak accidents happen a lot and this is one of them."

The Panthers will certainly miss his explosiveness as they have a very tough month of October coming up. Carolina travels to Los Angeles this week to take on the Chargers to close out September, then have a brutal seven game stretch: vs Cardinals, @ Falcons, vs Bears, @ Saints, vs Falcons, @ Chiefs, vs Buccaneers. 

Ideally, the Panthers would like to have McCaffrey back prior to their October 25th clash with the Saints, which would be at the minimum four weeks. However, a more realistic target may be the Panthers' Thursday night matchup with the Falcons just four days later.

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