CHARLOTTE — Running back Christian McCaffrey was back in full force during Carolina's loss at Kansas City, racking up 151 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns.
But there is at least mild reason for concern heading into Monday, as McCaffrey came out during the Panthers' final offensive drive. He was shown on the television broadcast on the sideline with trainers working on his upper body.
"I don't know anything about him injury-wise," head coach Matt Rhule said postgame. "I thought Christian did a nice job, made plays for us as he always does."
After missing the past six weeks with a high ankle sprain, McCaffrey took 18 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also caught all 10 of his targets for 82 yards with a receiving touchdown.
"He's a great player, and great players show up in crucial areas at crucial times — third down, red zone, two minute, all those things," Rhule said. "He showed up in those areas today."
McCaffrey got the Panthers going from the game's first play. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hit him with a swing pass on the left, and McCaffrey took it for a 7-yard gain. Though McCaffrey's first run play lost a yard, he ended up rushing for 18 yards on the opening possession. And when the Panthers had fourth-and-3 in the red zone, McCaffrey caught a short pass in the direction of the Chiefs' blitz and easily took in a 9-yard TD.
McCaffrey reached the end zone for the second time late in the fourth quarter. He converted a red-zone third-and-2 with a 6-yard run but was out of bounds at the Kansas City 1. But with 1:55 left, McCaffrey took the next handoff up the middle and quickly got in the end zone.
While McCaffrey was once again Carolina's featured back, Mike Davis received a decent amount of playing time. He finished with five receptions for 34 yards, plus a carry for three yards. He also served as a critical lead blocker on multiple run plays and on wide receiver Curtis Samuel's 14-yard score in the second quarter.
"It was definitely good having Christian back this week," Bridgewater said. "He fought for us, he ran hard, he put the ball out of the backfield, picked up guys in protection, and then when Mike came in, Mike made some plays as well. It was good to just have both of those guys rolling."
Look at in-game photos from Carolina-Kansas City in Week 9.