Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey injures hamstring in first half vs. Texans

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in the first half vs. the Texans and has been ruled out.

Christian McCaffrey is out of the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans game after suffering a hamstring injury in the second quarter. The league’s two-week leader in yards from scrimmage was injured while making a cut toward the sideline on a 2-yard run. What does this mean for McCaffrey’s season outlook and fantasy impact in 2021?

Christian McCaffrey’s injured hamstring forces him out early vs. Texans

He went to the sideline medical tent for evaluation and was quickly ruled out for the game — never a great sign about an injury’s severity. Matt Rhule confirmed after the game that McCaffrey suffered a hamstring strain and will have an MRI but did not have an idea of how long he will be out.

McCaffrey’s injury came on carry No. 7 of the evening. He finished the game with 31 yards on the ground and another 9 yards on 2 catches.

It’s McCaffrey’s fourth different injury in the last two seasons. He missed all but three games in 2020 with ankle, shoulder, and thigh injuries. As a result, he had by far the worst statistical season of his career.

Now, he’ll be — best-case scenario — day-to-day with a new soft tissue injury. Hamstring strains keep players out an average of 2.6 games, according to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology’s website.

Rookie Chuba Hubbard expected to see increased workload

Chuba Hubbard, a rookie out of Oklahoma State, became the Panthers’ featured back with McCaffrey out. Royce Freeman is the only other tailback on Carolina’s active roster.

McCaffrey spent a fair amount of time in the medical tent for evaluation before ultimately emerging and slowly walking to the Panthers’ locker room for treatment. If there is a silver lining, it’s this: Carolina has 10 days off until their next game (vs. the Dallas Cowboys).

Christian McCaffrey’s fantasy outlook after injury

McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury and was immediately ruled out of the Panthers’ Thursday night matchup against the Texans. It is a concern that the star running back was ruled out so quickly. Over the last three seasons, no other running back has a higher number of opportunities per game than McCaffrey (24.3). Ezekiel Elliott (23.7) and Saquon Barkley (22.6) rank second and third. This is the type of workload Hubbard could potentially inherit.

Hubbard only played in seven games for Oklahoma St. last season due to an ankle injury. He rushed 133 times for 625 yards and 5 touchdowns. However, Hubbard’s marvelous 2019 campaign yielded totals of 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns. If McCaffrey misses significant time, Hubbard could be on the RB1 radar.

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