September 25, 2023

It was a full-throttle Friday for Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

As the Panthers aim to handle their star with care, they have implemented a practice plan with breaks mixed in with unrestricted practice.

CMC appreciates the approach as he enters the season trying to avoid the injury that has plagued each of his last two seasons.

“I think those days off are important,” McCaffrey said. “You have to make sure on those days off that you’re doing everything to prepare for the next day. That’s what it’s all about. So it’s an off day, but you’re still working. A lot of things with the trainers, you do things with the strength coaches – strength stuff, flexibility stuff, to get ready for it the next day. But I feel great.”

McCaffrey played in 48 straight games to start his NFL career, culminating in a 2019 All-Pro campaign when he became just the second player all-time with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. Since then, CMC has not played in just 10 of a possible 27 games over the last two seasons.

Foot and ankle injuries cut McCaffrey’s 2021 campaign to seven games, and the Panthers’ practice plan has been in place since he returned from the ankle ailment.

“I think the scheme for him is very good,” coach Matt Rhule said. via Augusta Stone of the group’s website.

Rhule previously said it was unlikely McCaffrey would play three straight practices once he wore the pads. So far so good.

“Yeah, it feels great. One day for us,” McCaffrey said, navigating his cliches as impressively as opposing defenses. “We work hard, we recover hard, we meet hard; we just do everything — taking it one day at a time.”

Careful handling has been the approach so far with McCaffrey, and the Panthers — and many fantasy football owners — are hoping it pays off with a healthy regular season.

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