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Panthers star Christian McCaffrey will miss game vs. Vikings

Running back now out three-straight contests with hamstring injury
Credit: AP
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey watches play from the sideline against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Vikings, marking the Panthers star's third-straight missed game after injuring his hamstring early in Carolina's Week 3 win against Houston.

McCaffrey was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, but did not take the field at all Thursday or Friday.

Last week, McCaffrey was able to practice all week in a limited fashion.

Coach Matt Rhule did not view it as a setback.

"No I would just say he went out there and tested it," Rhule said, "and it's not where it needs to be yet to play."

Since signing a deal to make him the highest-paid running back in NFL history before the 2020 season, McCaffrey has now missed 16 of a possible 22 games.

"He just hasn't been there yet. he's doing everything he can," Rhule said. "We hope to have him out there next week."

Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard has been promising in McCaffrey's absence, rushing for 210 yards in three games, averaging 4.38 yards per carry.

Linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot) will also miss his second-straight game.

Carolina enters the 1 p.m. contest against Minnesota with a 3-2 record, losing two-straight games.

The Vikings are 2-3.