It was a full-on Friday for running back Christian McCaffrey’s Carolina Panthers.
Since the Panthers aim to handle their star players with care, they have implemented an off-day practice program that mixes practice with unlimited practice.
CMC appreciates this approach as he enters the season looking to avoid the injury problems he has had in each of the past two seasons.
“I think days off are important,” McCaffrey said. “You have to make sure on the day off you’re doing everything you can to be ready for the next day. That’s what it’s for. So it’s a day off, but you’re still working. You’re doing a lot with the coach, you Doing things with a strength coach — strength stuff, flexibility stuff, getting ready for the next day. But I feel good.”
McCaffrey played 48 straight games to kick off his NFL career, culminating in an all-career 2019 when he became just the second-ever rusher and receiver to reach 1,000 yards in the same season player. Since then, CMC has played just 10 of 27 games over the past two seasons.
Hamstring and ankle injuries cut McCaffrey’s 2021 campaign to seven games, and the Panthers’ training program has been in place since he recovered from an ankle ailment.
“I think he has a very good plan,” coach Matt Ruhler said. Augusta Stone via team website.
Ruhl has previously said McCaffrey is unlikely to perform three practices in a row once the pads are on. So far, so good.
“Yeah, I’m feeling great. We’re going to be like this one day,” said McCaffrey, who was as impressive as he was against defenses in dealing with his clichés. “We’re working hard, trying to recover, trying to have meetings; just doing everything — day by day.”
So far, careful handling with McCaffrey has been the way to go, and the Panthers — and many fantasy football owners — hope to pay off with a healthy regular season.