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Christian McCaffrey undergoing tests to evaluate ankle this week

Christian McCaffrey

CHARLOTTE — Running back Christian McCaffrey is scheduled to undergo a series of tests this week, some as soon as Monday, to evaluate his recovery from a high ankle sprain.

McCaffrey is eligible to come off the reserve/injured list this week. However, head coach Matt Rhule did not want to speculate on the chances of that happening during his Monday afternoon virtual press conference.

"Once the doctors say he's clear and he feels like he's clear, then we'll activate him," Rhule said. "But I'm not sure exactly when that'll be."

It's been only three weeks since McCaffrey suffered the injury. He told reporters on Sept. 21 that doctors initially diagnosed him with a four-to-six-week recovery timeline, though he wanted to return sooner. McCaffrey suffered the injury during the second half of the loss to Tampa Bay. He was still able to run in a 7-yard touchdown before exiting the contest.

McCaffrey doesn't have to come off of IR now just because it's been three weeks. When he is designated to return, he'll have a 21-day practice window before he must be placed on the 53-man roster or will revert to IR for the rest of the season.

Though he played in just the first two games of the season, McCaffrey continues to lead the Panthers with four touchdowns this season. The 2019 first-team All-Pro totaled 223 yards from scrimmage on 48 touches in the first two games.

View the best photos from behind the scenes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Carolina's 23-16 win over Atlanta.

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