The Carolina Panthers intend to take a new approach when handling running back Christian McCaffrey's practice regimen this coming season. The team will be "taking a lot of the reps off him during the week in the hope that the lightened workload will help him get through the season," according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. As was previously reported, McCaffrey won't play in any preseason games, either.
The Panthers clearly need to take a new approach with McCaffrey so that his talent isn't being wasted on Injured Reserve. The star dual-threat back played three games in 2020 and seven in 2021, and although he was productive when healthy, his lack of time on the field was a major disappointment for the Panthers and fantasy managers. If not for the injuries, McCaffrey would be the consensus 1.01 in fantasy drafts year in and year out. Instead, his projection is a bit muddled. It's safe to view him as a mid-range RB1 this year, but the persistent injury concerns will likely deter fantasy managers from drafting him with the first overall pick.