The Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey will play against. Saints in Week 3 after dealing with ankle sprain

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Panthers star Christian McCaffrey was a full participant during Friday’s practice and will play in Sunday’s Week 3 game against the Saints. McCaffrey sat out Wednesday’s practice with a sprained ankle and was limited during Thursday’s practice.

McCaffrey handled a relatively light workload during the first two weeks of the season. He had 33 touches for 185 all-purpose yards and a score in that span, which included his 102-yard rushing performance in last Sunday’s 19-16 loss to the Giants.

The Panthers hope to keep McCaffrey on the field this season after he missed a combined 23 games the previous two seasons due to injuries. In 2019, his last season fully healthy, McCaffrey earned All-Pro honors and later became just the third player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards. He finished that season with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and 1,005 yards and four touchdowns on 116 receptions.

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While McCaffrey is off to a good start, the Panthers haven’t gotten much out of their other backs. Freshman D’Onta Foreman and sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard have totaled five carries so far. Baker Mayfield, the Panthers’ new starting quarterback, is actually second on the team in rushing entering Sunday’s game against the Saints.

McCaffrey was one of six players to appear on the Panthers’ weekly injury report. Cornerbacks Donte Jackson (hamstring) and Stanley Thomas-Oliver (Achilles) were both ruled questionable for Sunday’s game. Jackson was a full participant in Friday’s practice after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. Thomas-Oliver did not practice on Friday and only on Thursday.

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