Christian McCaffrey missed practice with a back injury

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Christian McCaffrey has carried the Panthers on his back this season.

Now, the running back has a back injury.

Earlier Wednesday, a report surfaced that McCaffrey’s absence form practice was not injury related. But the Panthers’ practice report lists McCaffrey with a back injury.

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McCaffrey landed on his back on a 5-yard somersault touchdown early in the first quarter. He played 56 of 65 offensive snaps, leaving late with what the team called cramps.

McCaffrey has played all the snaps in three games this season and played 56 of 60 in Week Three against the Cardinals.

The back injury is problematic with the Panthers facing a long flight to London for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing yards (587) and scrimmage yards (866), with his yards from scrimmage the second-most through five games since 1950. Jim Brown had 988 yards from scrimmage in the first five games of 1963, according to the NFL.

The Panthers had nine other players who didn’t practice Wednesday.

Linebacker/defensive end Mario Addison (rest), defensive back Natrell Jamerson (foot), offensive tackle Greg Little (concussion), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (knee), linebacker/defensive end Christian Miller (ankle), quarterback Cam Newton (foot), safety Eric Reid (ankle), linebacker Shaq Thompson (ankle) and offensive guard Trai Turner also sat out.

Coach Ron Rivera said he is expecting Little to make the trip.

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