Christian McCaffrey injury update: Panthers RB to miss several weeks, Chuba Hubbard to start

Written By Trevor Booth
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(Getty Images)

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey missed the remainder of his team’s game against the Texans in Houston on Thursday night after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half. 

McCaffrey suffered the injury early in the second quarter; he appeared to hurt himself while attempting to step around Texans linebacker Joe Thomas. He entered Carolina’s medical tent later in the quarter and did not return to the game. 

Now, it's been announced that McCaffrey will miss a few weeks, but will not go on the injured reserve according to the team

He'll cede the starting job to former Oklahoma State standout Chuba Hubbard in the meantime.

MORE: Will Odell Beckham Jr. suit up for Cleveland in Week 3?

The Panthers before halftime that McCaffrey was out for the night. Coach Matt Rhule said after the game that McCaffrey suffered a hamstring strain and will have an MRI exam. 

McCaffrey, who is in his fifth season in the NFL, entered the game with 45 rushes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He also had recorded 14 receptions for 154 receiving yards. He added to those totals Thursday with seven rushes for 31 yards and two receptions for nine yards.

MORE: How McCaffrey's HS highlights put him on path to superstardom

Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard replaced McCaffrey as the Panthers' lead back. Hubbard finished with 11 carries for 52 yards and three receptions for 27 yards. Carolina won 24-9 to improve to 3-0 for the season.

MORE: Who is Chuba Hubbard?

McCaffrey missed 13 games last season due to an assortment of injuries. He suffered a right high-ankle sprain during the Panthers' Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers, causing him to miss six games. 

Then, he suffered a shoulder injury in his return to the field against the Chiefs in Week 9, ending his season.

MORE: Matt Rhule's Panthers contract 'pissed off' NFL owners

McCaffrey has not played a full season since 2019, when he recorded a career-best 1,387 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns and 1,005 receiving yards with four touchdowns.

Tom Gatto contributed to this report.

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