Panthers' Hubbard expected to start with McCaffrey out for 3rd straight game

Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard runs against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (Nell Redmond/AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will miss his third straight game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings because of a hamstring injury, and rookie Chuba Hubbard of Sherwood Park, Alta., is expected to start in his place.

McCaffrey was held out of practice for a second consecutive day Friday and is listed as out for the game.

Coach Matt Rhule said when McCaffrey practiced Wednesday he still felt something wasn't right in the hamstring.

"We came off the field that day hoping that he would be ready on Thursday, but he just hasn't been there yet,'' Rhule said. "He's doing everything he can. It's been three weeks. So we hope to have him out there (at practice) next week.''

Hubbard, the 2019 winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy as the top Canadian in NCAA football, rushed for 104 yards last week in a loss to Philadelphia. Royce Freeman is expected to get some work as a backup.

The Panthers are 3-0 with McCaffrey in the starting lineup, but they have lost the last two games with him out. Sam Darnold has been sacked eight times and thrown five interceptions in the last two games.

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