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NFL: Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) avoids IR

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Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey will not go on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, but rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn landed there with a broken right foot.

Head coach Matt Rhule updated the players’ injuries Monday, saying McCaffrey has a chance to return in less than three weeks.

Horn needs surgery to repair multiple fractures, but Rhule didn’t rule out a return later in the season.

“With Jaycee we have to be really smart about bringing him back, making sure he’s healthy and his return to play is done the right way,” Rhule said. “I can’t predict that right now.

“Knowing Jaycee Horn, his mindset will be ‘I’m coming back to play.’ If he’s ready, he’s ready, and if he’s not, he’s not. And we won’t put him in harm’s way. We’ll let the doctors tell us when he’s ready to go.”

Both injuries occurred last Thursday as the Panthers improved to 3-0 with a 24-9 victory over the host Houston Texans.

McCaffrey, 25, has 52 carries for 201 yards and a touchdown to go along with 16 receptions for 163 yards in three games this season.

Horn, 21, has tallied five tackles and one interception in three games since being selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. He was the first defensive player taken in the draft.

The Panthers signed cornerback Rashaan Melvin off the practice squad to replace Horn on the 53-man roster. The team also traded for cornerback C.J. Henderson earlier in the day, sending tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick to Jacksonville.

–Field Level Media

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