Christian McCaffrey took positive steps toward a return Wednesday, but isn't quite ready for the playing field.
After the Panthers running back practiced in a non-contact jersey Wednesday, coach Matt Rhule told reporters CMC is not expected to play Sunday versus the Vikings.
"Christian got a couple of reps," Rhule said. "We are not really expecting him to play. We are just trying to get him comfortable."
The All-Pro did not practice last week and missed his second straight game due to a shoulder injury. He previously missed six games with an ankle injury. McCaffrey hurt the shoulder in his first game back in Week 9.
Carolina has more encouraging news surrounding its starting quarterback.
Teddy Bridgewater, who's been dealing with a knee sprain, was full-go in practice Wednesday and Rhule said he's expected to play this weekend. The veteran was a game-time decision for last week's win over the Lions, ultimately sitting out in favor of P.J. Walker.
Other news we are keeping an eye on Wednesday:
- The Houston Texans will be without wide receivers Randall Cobb (toe) and Kenny Stills (quad) for their Thanksgiving Day clash with the Lions. Cobb was placed on injured reserve.
- Lions running back D'Andre Swift (concussion) is questionable for Thursday's game against the Texans. Wide receivers Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip) and rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah (shoulder) have been ruled out. Detroit signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to its active roster, per Sanu's agent.
- Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was limited in practice Wednesday with a left thumb injury. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tagovailoa jammed his left thumb on a helmet in practice on Wednesday, but early indications were it was nothing serious. Miami activated defensive tackle Christian Wilkins off the reserve/COVID-19 list and running back Myles Gaskin, who practiced in a non-contact jersey, to return from IR. Running back Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) did not practice.
- The Baltimore Ravens placed defensive end Calais Campbell and offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The league announced Thursday night's game between the Ravens and Steelers has been postponed to Sunday. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the league wanted a few more days of COVID-19 testing to ensure the spread was contained after other Ravens tested positive and were deemed close contacts earlier in the week.
- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (shoulder) was limited in practice, while wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (illness) was out.
- New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (foot) and Michael Thomas (ankle) were limited in practice on Wednesday.
- New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (hand) was limited in practice.
- Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said safety Kenny Vaccaro and wide receiver Adam Humphries, both of whom are dealing with concussions, are scheduled to practice Wednesday.
- Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery told reporters that he has cleared the league's concussion protocol and expects to play Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers. Montgomery was a full participant in practice, as was Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), while quarterback Nick Foles (hip) and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks did not practice.
- Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters that the team will "wait and see" if Adam Thielen will be available for Sunday's game against the Panthers. Thielen currently is on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The team activated guard Dru Samia from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
- Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said running back Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will practice Wednesday. Pelissero reported Ekeler, who's been sidelined since Week 4, is expected to be designated for return from injured reserve.
- The Indianapolis Colts placed defensive lineman DeForest Buckner on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Quarterback Philip Rivers did not practice Wednesday as a precaution after injuring his toe in Sunday's win over the Packers.
- New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is returning to practice after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury. Darnold is expected to be a limited participant, but head coach Adam Gase said he will do "quite a bit." Right tackle George Fant (knee/ankle) will not practice.
- The Atlanta Falcons activated defensive end Dante Fowler from the team's reserve/COVID-19 list. Falcons running back Todd Gurley (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, while Julio Jones (hamstring),Calvin Ridley (foot) and Grady Jarrett (knee/groin) were each limited.
- The Cleveland Browns placed linebacker Sione Takitaki on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (finger) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, as was guard Ali Marpet (concussion). Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) was limited.
- Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (back) and cornerback Anthony Brown (ribs) are questionable for Thursday's game against Washington.
- Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (ankle) and kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin) are questionable for Thursday's game against the Cowboys.
- Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle/Achilles) was limited in practice.
- Green Bay Packers wide receivers Davante Adams (ankle) and Allen Lazard (core) were limited in practice.
- Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. Starting running back Joe Mixon is already on injured reserve.
- San Francisco 49ers cornerback K'Waun Williams had his two-game suspension for violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances rescinded on Wednesday, a day after it was levied.