Christian McCaffrey returns to practice field

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It might be a “long shot” for Christian McCaffrey to return in time for Thursday Night Football, but the Panthers running back was on the practice field for the first time in five weeks.

McCaffrey did not actively participate in Monday’s walkthrough, wearing a red non-contact jersey. Coach Matt Rhule said the Pro Bowler would have to have a full practice Tuesday and/or Wednesday for the team to consider activating McCaffrey off injured reserve.

It’s a possibility,” coach Matt Rhule said, via David Newton of ESPN, when asked if McCaffrey could be ready for the Falcons. “That’s sort of out of my hands. I’m hopeful that will happen.”

Team doctors will make the final decision on McCaffrey’s status.

“If you know Christian, he wants to play,” Rhule said.

McCaffrey was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain in Week 2. In the five games McCaffrey has missed, the Panthers has gone 3-2.

McCaffrey has 223 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns in two games.

Mike Davis, who has started in McCaffrey’s stead, has 517 yards from scrimmage, with two rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores.

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