Two superstars were back in action on Sunday
Sunday in the NFL was a day of two big returns. The first was the return of Carolina Panthers starting running back, Christian McCaffery. It was an explosive return for the young star, but his return may be short lived. The other return was of troubled wide receiver, Antonio Brown. Brown had a solid night despite his team suffering a huge loss. Let’s dive into the returns of these two players.
McCaffery came back from an injury he suffered in week two in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCaffery suffered a high ankle sprain which sat him on the Panthers injured reserve for 6 weeks.
Before his injury, McCaffery was already showing why people were calling him the best in the league last season. In just one and a part of another game, McCaffery had rushed for four touchdowns. The dual threat had over 200 yard in the air and on the ground.
On Sunday, it appeared McCaffery had not skipped a beat. McCaffery rushed for 69 yards and one touchdown across 18 attempts. More impressive he was 10 for 10 in in passing receptions, helping him tack on 82 more yards and another touchdown to his day. Despite the solid performance, the Panthers just barely lost to the Chiefs 31-33. Regardless, it was a big win for him (and the millions of fantasy football players who drafted McCaffery in the first round.).
However, Panthers fans and fantasy players shouldn’t start celebrating yet. Word has come out that late in the fourth quarter, McCaffery suffered some sort of upper body injury. The severity of the injury is still unknown. Could McCaffery be back out as soon as he came back in? It would be a big loss for the Panthers. The Panthers are currently last in their division, but aren’t out of the fight yet. With their division becoming increasingly competitive every week, McCaffery could be a the difference in a big Panthers comeback.
The other returning player of the night was Antonio Brown. Brown, as many people around the NFL know, has had a lot of ups and downs over the last couple of years and has become quite a polarizing player.
After forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, Oakland took a chance trading for Brown before the 2019 season. Brown, once again, forced his way out from the team, this time before ever playing a snap for the Raiders before they released him.
After a one game stint with Tom Brady and the Patriots last season, Brown was accused of sexual assault and promptly released. Fast forward to this season, Brown served an eight game suspension handed down by the NFL, and what do you know, Tom Brady (now in Tampa Bay) is linked up with Brown again.
In his return, Brown had a modest three catches for 31 yards. It was not the typical all-pro performance from Brown, but it may just take some time for him to gel with his new team.
It’s hard to determine what Brown’s level of success will be going forward. The Buccaneers were already set in the wide receiver position with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Add the fact that they also have a tight end, Rob Gronkowski, and running back, Leonard Fournette, Brown just might not see a lot of targets.