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Christian McCaffrey returns to practice Friday

Christian McCaffrey was back at practice Friday, relieving Panthers fans who were worried about consecutive absences this week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christian McCaffrey was at Panthers practice Friday, signaling that he could play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. 

McCaffrey's return was met with a sign of relief from Panthers fans after the star running back missed two days with what the team called a quadriceps injury. McCaffrey doesn't normally practice on Wednesdays as the team plans to limit his workload, but his absence Thursday raised questions over his availability for Sunday's game against the Cardinals (1 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium). 

McCaffrey is officially listed as questionable on the team's injury report and was a limited participant at Friday's practice. On Friday, head coach Matt Rhule said the team is "very hopeful" McCaffrey will play against Arizona.

McCaffrey's injury popped up after the team's win over the Saints, putting the spotlight on backups D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard. It remains unclear if McCaffrey will be limited on Sunday. 

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Rhule said Wednesday that McCaffrey was "taking care of himself and getting his body right." 

CMC has been a bright spot during the Panthers' 1-2 start to the season, rushing for 243 yards, including back-to-back 100-yard games. But for as good as McCaffrey is on the field, injuries have kept him away from the team for the majority of the past two years. He missed 23 of 33 games in 2020 and 2021, which impacted the team's offensive production, especially without a franchise quarterback. 

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