Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since he suffered an injured hamstring in the win over the Houston Texans on Thursday, Sept. 23, and Carolina head coach Matt Rhule said earlier today he was “hopeful” his RB1 could be in the lineup for Sunday’s matchup against the 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles.
According to Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk, McCaffrey told reporters during his press conference he “definitely” thinks he could play for the 3-1 Panthers in Week 5 but added he believes the short turnaround ahead of last month’s “Thursday Night Football” contest could’ve contributed to his latest setback.
“It was extremely frustrating,” McCaffrey explained. “I don’t prefer Thursday night games. You go through a lot in a football game. And you really get two days to recover and one of those days is a travel day. So you get two days to recover, you hop on a plane, you get in a hotel, and then you go out and play in a football game. It’s really tough. But it is what it is. It’s part of the game. And, obviously, frustrating.”
McCaffrey continued that he would “probably argue against” teams playing on Sundays and then on subsequent Thursdays because of extra injury risks but also admitted he “wouldn’t be saying anything about it” had he not gotten hurt.
While McCaffrey is correct in saying other players share his opinion, “Thursday Night Football” isn’t going anywhere. Amazon is reportedly paying over $1 billion per year for the rights to “TNF” contests as part of a deal that kicks in next season and lasts for 11 years.