Carolina comeback hopes fade when injured McCaffrey leaves

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) celebrates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers felt they beat themselves in a 31-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Four turnovers and nine penalties undermined the team’s chances.

And, it didn’t help that star running back Christian McCaffrey was slowed — and eventually sidelined for most of the fourth quarter — by what coach Matt Rhule described as a lower leg injury.

McCaffrey scored on runs of 1 and 7 yards, and the Panthers trimmed a 21-0 deficit to seven points early in the fourth quarter. He limped off the field after his second TD and didn’t play the final 13 minutes.

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