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Coach: McCaffrey may see restricted reps vs. Patriots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Matt Rhule mentioned working again Christian McCaffrey has an opportunity to play Sunday in opposition to the New England Patriots if he could make it by observe on Saturday with none setbacks.

Quarterback Sam Darnold (concussion/shoulder) might be lively too after being listed as questionable on the harm report Friday.

Rhule mentioned he’s “hopeful“ that McCaffrey can play, however indicated the 2019 All-Professional wouldn’t see a full quantity of snaps if he’s capable of go. McCaffrey has missed the final 5 video games with a hamstring harm and was designated to return from injured reserve earlier this week. He isn’t but on the 53-man roster, so he has no harm designation.

“Saturday is often the day we transfer round and attempt to have explosive actions,” Rhule mentioned. “So we’ll see if he is ready to hit full pace. He’s clearly in good situation and is aware of the sport plan. So I’m hopeful that Christian would possibly play, I actually am.”

McCaffrey had not practiced in three weeks earlier than this week, so Rhule doesn’t need to danger overusing his star participant. He mentioned he’s pleased with how McCaffrey’s backup, Chuba Hubbard, has carried out.

“He’s simply coming again and I don’t assume it could be a kind of 50- or 60- or 70-play video games,” Rhule mentioned of McCaffrey. “… Christian will play when he’s prepared and solely play as many snaps as appears acceptable for the place he’s coming again. And hopefully if we do this we are able to construct him again as much as getting 40, 50 or 60 snaps when want be.”

In the meantime, Darnold is listed as questionable and Rhule prompt probability he could also be lively for Sunday if he clears the concussion protocol. Rhule additionally indicated Darnold is battling a shoulder harm, which can be simply as problematic because the concussion.

Darnold may function a backup Sunday to P.J. Walker, who has taken many of the first-team reps at quarterback this week in observe, Rhule mentioned. Darnold was injured in final week’s 19-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

“I feel he seems good and indicators are constructive,” Rhule mentioned of Darnold, who’s 4-4 as a starter. “We are going to see what he can do tomorrow. Something is on the desk and he might be (prepared) for this recreation, which might be nice.”

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Huynh Nguyen

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