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It got worse for Panthers after Christian McCaffrey injury

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This is when 3-0 doesn’t feel quite so sweet.

The Panthers cruised to a 24-9 victory over the hapless Texans on Thursday night, but they lost Christian McCaffrey to a hamstring strain in the first half. On top of that, stud rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn suffered a broken foot on the first drive of the second half in an immense blow to the Panthers defense.

Horn, the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was off to a solid start this season before he was injured while back pedaling in coverage. Horn pointed at his lower leg and had to be helped off the field. The Panthers also lost starting safety Juston Burris to a groin injury the play before.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was the first to report on Horn’s injury and said there is “no firm timetable” for his return.

McCaffrey’s return is also murky as the severity of the strain was unclear. The 25-year-old missed all but three games of the 2020 season due to shoulder and ankle injuries.

Jaycee Horn gets looked at by Panthers trainers after suffering a broken foot in the win over the Texans.
USA TODAY Sports

“We’ll be all right without him,” quarterback Sam Darnold said. “Obviously, we want him back, but I want him to take his time right now and make sure he’s good for the end of the season.”

Oklahoma State rookie Chuba Hubbard was the primary replacement for McCaffrey and totaled 52 yards on 11 carries. Veteran Royce Freeman also saw some time.

Christian McCaffrey before suffering a hamstring strain.
Christian McCaffrey before suffering a hamstring strain.
Getty Images

“I don’t know the severity level of it yet, to be quite honest with you,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “But I knew the minute it happened I said: ‘Hey, he’s out for the game.’ That’s all I knew. I saw him in there, and he’s moving around, but it’s a wait and see.”





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