Week 7 of football action in the NFL will be played with a lot of important players watching the games from the sidelines.  Some big names are hurt to varying degrees, and their absence on the field in affecting the outcome of some very important games.  However, this is why teams have deep rosters, and they can’t be afraid to use them.

CMC Still Out For The Panthers

Starting with Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers, who is widely considered to be one of the very best running backs in the NFL.  He has not played in four weeks after suffering an ankle injury during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, which the Panthers lost.

The Panthers are not living up to their own expectations and are sitting on a 3-3, an even .500, which first-year head coach Matt Rhule must find frustrating.  CMC racked up 223 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns in the first two games this year, and you can’t just call to the bench to replace that kind of production from a running back.  McCaffrey just signed a 4-year $64-million contract extension with the Panthers, and they would sorely like to have him back in action when the Panthers take on the New Orleans Saints in Week 7.

In addition to issues with McCaffrey, the Panthers have also been forced to put two players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.  Kicker Joey Slye and offensive lineman Trent Scott found their names added to the list, which already included center Tyler Larsen and offensive guard Michael Schofield.  The growing list has forced the team to close its facility as it tries to stop the new outbreak from getting worse.

The Giants Need Some Help

The New York Giants, still trying to get over losing Eli Manning, had a pretty good backfield on paper with Daniel Jones at quarterback and former NFL Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley at running back.  However, Barkley went down for the season in the Bears game with a torn ACL.  His loss can’t help but have a major negative impact on the Giants offense.  Saquon Barkley is one of the best running backs in the NFL.

The Giants are going to face the Philadelphia Eagles next and the Eagles received a dose of double bad news when both Zack Ertz and Miles Sanders were counted out for their Thursday Night Football against the Giants.  Those two guys represent a large chuck of the Philadelphia offense.

Ertz, a tight end and 3-time NFL Pro Bowler, now has one of those unpredictable and aggravating high ankle sprains, so, who knows when he will be back in action.  Sanders, a key running back for the Eagles, has some sort of knee injury, which, once again, makes it difficult to predict when he might return.

San Fran Still Not Recovered

Out in San Francisco, the 49ers electric running back Raheem Mostert is back on the Injured Reserve list after putting up 119 yards on 14 touches in Week 5.  He had already racked up 76 yards in the first half of the LA Rams game, which the Niners managed to win, when he went down in obvious pain, grabbing this ankle early in the second half.  The 49ers are currently without the services of Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson who have now both joined Mostert on the Injured Reserve list.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had a nagging rib injury before the start of his Week 6 meeting with the Pittsburg Steelers defense, but they cut him no slack.  In fact, the Steelers seemed determined to cause further injury to Mayfield throughout the game sacking him behind the line of scrimmage 4 times.  He was obviously under duress, as he threw two interceptions before he was pulled from the game in the third quarter of what turned out to be a blowout game for Pittsburgh.