Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers on Wednesday placed Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next three games.
McCaffrey suffered a high ankle sprain during the Panthers' Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The star tailback is expected to miss four to six weeks because of the right ankle injury, but he said Monday that he hopes to return faster than that timeline.
"They say four to six weeks [to recover]," McCaffrey told reporters Monday. "Well, that's a challenge to me. Hopefully, I'll get back a lot earlier than this. I'm going to attack this just like I attack anything else and go from there."
Mike Davis, who had one rushing attempt and caught eight passes for 74 yards against the Buccaneers, is expected to be the starter for the Panthers' Week 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team also has Trenton Cannon on the active roster and Reggie Bonnafon on the practice squad.
The Panthers made McCaffrey the NFL's highest-paid running back this past off-season with a four-year, $64 million extension that averages about $16 million each year. In the 2019 campaign, he became only the third player in league history to record 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.
In two games this season, McCaffrey has 41 carries for 156 yards and four touchdowns. He also has seven receptions for 67 yards on nine targets.
The Panthers (0-2) travel to play the Chargers (1-1) on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.