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Panthers coach Matt Rhule: RB Christian McCaffrey to miss 'a few weeks'

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, shown Oct. 21, 2018, injured his hamstring during Thursday night's game against the Houston Texans. File Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, shown Oct. 21, 2018, injured his hamstring during Thursday night's game against the Houston Texans. File Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey will miss at least a few weeks due to the hamstring injury he suffered during Thursday night's game against the Houston Texans.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters Friday that McCaffrey has a strained hamstring, but the Pro Bowl tailback was still undergoing further tests to determine the severity of the strain. Rhule didn't rule out putting McCaffrey on injured reserve as those tests are conducted.

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"They are still doing a bunch of diagnostic testing, so I can't tell you if that is one, two, three or four weeks," Rhule said.

The injury occurred when McCaffrey was running to the left sideline on a first-down carry from the Texans' 14-yard line. He used a stutter step to avoid a Texans defender and immediately signaled to the Panthers' sideline after the play was over.

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McCaffrey walked off the field and remained in the blue medical tent for more than 20 minutes before heading to the Panthers' locker room under his own power.

The Panthers subsequently ruled McCaffrey out for the remainder of that Thursday Night Football game.

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Rookie tailback Chuba Hubbard and veteran Royce Freeman finished Thursday's game against the Texans. Hubbard -- the expected starter until McCaffrey returns -- had 11 rushes for 52 yards and three receptions for 27 yards, and Freeman had five carries for 17 yards.

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First-round draft pick Jaycee Horn, however, will be sidelined considerably longer after breaking three bones in his right foot during Thursday's matchup against Houston.

The Panthers cornerback and his family are currently in the process of deciding whether surgery is necessary, or letting the injury heal on its own.

"It breaks my heart seeing these guys work so hard and get hurt," said Rhule, who didn't rule out injured reserve for Horn.

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The Panthers, who are 3-0 for the first time since 2015, are set to play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season.

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