Report: Christian McCaffrey not expected to play Thursday night

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The Panthers have until 4 p.m. ET to activate running back Christian McCaffrey from injured reserve and put him in the lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Falcons.

It doesn’t look like that is going to happen. McCaffery’s return from the ankle injury that’s kept him out since Week 2 was called a long shot early this week and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports on Thursday morning that he is not expected to be activated ahead of the Carolina game.

McCaffrey has taken part in the last two practices this week and that may serve as groundwork for more work next week in advance of a return to the lineup against the Chiefs.

Mike Davis has been the lead back for the Panthers since McCaffrey’s injury and would continue in that role against Atlanta as long as he remains on the sideline.