Panthers “hopeful” about Christian McCaffrey; Sam Darnold listed as questionable

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans
Getty Images

The Panthers have played their last five games without running back Christian McCaffrey and we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out if they’ll have him back for this Sunday’s matchup with the Patriots.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said on Friday, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website, that he is “hopeful” about McCaffrey playing and that the team will make their call about activating him from injured reserve. McCaffrey is trying to return from a hamstring injury and the team has gone 1-4 without him in the lineup.

Quarterback Sam Darnold is listed as questionable after suffering a concussion in last Sunday’s win over the Falcons. He’s been listed as limited in practice all week, but still needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist to be out of the concussion protocol.

Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver III (toe) and guard Pat Elflein (hamstring) are also listed as questionable for Week Nine.