The Carolina Panthers were dealt a big blow to their offense on Monday.
The team announced that they are placing star running back Christian McCaffrey on the injured reserve with a season-ending ankle injury, although specifics were not disclosed.
The 25-year-old underwent an MRI on Monday after sustaining a left ankle injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
It is the second time the Panthers have put McCaffrey on the IR this season and he will not have enough time to return with just five games remaining on the schedule.
McCaffrey played in just seven games this season and has played in 10 games total since signing his four-year, $64 million contract extension in April 2020.
McCaffrey missed 13 games last year due to a high ankle sprain and shoulder injury.
In the last four weeks since he returned from a hamstring injury, McCaffrey had totaled 421 yards and a touchdown.
Backup running back Chuba Hubbard projects to be the team's starter.
The Panthers struggle when McCaffrey is not in the offense. They are 4-3 in games he has started this season and 1-4 in games he has not.
Carolina remains in the hunt for a playoff spot despite being in last place in the NFC South at 5-7, but without McCaffrey it is hard to imagine them climbing out of that hole to remain in contention.