Panthers' Ron Rivera says Christian McCaffrey 'ready to roll' on Sunday

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

The Carolina Panthers are preparing for their first-ever game in London this Sunday against NFC South rival Tampa Bay.

While Carolina will be without quarterback Cam Newton for a fourth game as he continues to heal from a Lisfranc injury in his left foot, the Panthers will have their other offensive star, Christian McCaffrey.

Ron Rivera: McCaffrey ‘ready to roll’

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There was concern about McCaffrey, an early MVP candidate, earlier this week when he did not practice on Thursday after Carolina arrived in London.

Christian McCaffrey was flipped into the end zone last Sunday. (Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey was flipped into the end zone last Sunday. (Getty Images)

But coach Ron Rivera told media on Friday that McCaffrey “is fine. If we would have practiced yesterday, he would have participated. He just seems ready to roll.”

Rivera said earlier this week that while McCaffrey did get Wednesday off from practice and was listed on the injury report because of his back, getting Wednesdays off will be the new norm for the running back.

Back injury came from flipping TD

At the end of one of his three touchdown runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, McCaffrey tried to jump over Jacksonville corner Tre Herndon but Herndon effectively flipped him up and over the goal line.

McCaffrey landed hard on his back.

My back’s a little sore. I took Wednesday off last week [for a rest day]. It could’ve been the same thing,” McCaffrey said after practice on Friday.

“I landed on my back pretty hard. But I feel fine. I could’ve practiced [Thursday]. Could’ve practiced the day after the game. Feeling really good,” he added. “I get it. But at the end of the day, I feel great, so ready to go.”

McCaffrey was on the sideline for the final two series of the Jaguars game, but it was for calf cramping.

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