CHARLOTTE - Running back Christian McCaffrey returned to the Bank of America Stadium practice fields on Monday for the first time since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2, but he has not yet been designated to return from the reserve/injured list.
McCaffrey wore a baseball hat and put on a red, non-contact jersey for the media portion of practice, which was mostly a walkthrough following Sunday's loss in New Orleans. He stood on the offensive sideline for the team stretch but did not actively participate.
If this week is too short of a turnaround with the Panthers set to host the Falcons on Thursday night, McCaffrey could potentially return to face the Chiefs in Week 9.
After injuring his ankle at Tampa Bay five weeks ago, McCaffrey said he'd been given a four-to-six week recovery timetable. He's missed the last five games, with the Panthers going 3-2 in the contests.
When McCaffrey is designated to return, he'll have a 21-day practice window when he would not count against the 53-man roster.
McCaffrey recorded 223 yards from scrimmage (156 rushing, 67 receiving) and four rushing touchdowns in his two games this season.
Mike Davis has started in McCaffrey's absence, recording 517 yards from scrimmage, with two rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores.