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Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (back) misses practice

The NFL's leading rusher is dealing with a back injury.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did not practice Wednesday due to a back issue, per the team's official report.

McCaffrey landed hard on his back on a flip into the end zone during the Panthers' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. He also was forced out of the contest late with what was reported as cramps.

McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing yards (587) and scrimmage yards (866). His 866 scrimmage yards are the second-most through a team's first five games of a season since 1950 -- only Jim Brown (988 in the first five games in 1963) had more.

The motor of the Panthers' offense, especially since Cam Newton went out, McCaffrey has been a menace to defenses in both the run and passing game, dashing through wayward tackles and making defenders look silly in open space.

With a long flight to London on tap for the Panthers on Wednesday night, it makes sense for the team to give the running back rest. Barring an unforeseen setback, it would be a surprise if Carolina's best player doesn't play Sunday against Tampa Bay -- the only team that has slowed McCaffrey this season, holding him to 53 scrimmage yards in Week 2.

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