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Christian McCaffrey feeling “really great” as he readies for return

Mike Florio and Charean Williams revisit a couple of the most questionable coaching decisions from Week 13 in the NFL, including Vic Fangio's decision to punt the ball to Patrick Mahomes in the fourth quarter.

Running back Christian McCaffrey appears set to return from his second significant injury of the season.

McCaffrey missed six games with a high-ankle sprain. When he returned against the Chiefs in early November, he suffered a shoulder injury that’s kept him out for another three games.

But on Monday, McCaffrey said he feels “really great” when asked if he would play against the Broncos on Sunday.

"[It was] really frustrating. You work so hard for so long to come back and then something separate happens and that’s just the nature of the game,” McCaffrey said, via Alaina Getzenberg of the Charlotte Observer. “I think the best thing that’s come out of it, though, is I’ve learned a lot about the game, learned a lot about myself and I’ve been able to kind of experience that adversity of watching from the side.”

Plus, McCaffrey has a little extra incentive to come back this week since the Panthers are playing his father’s former team. Ed McCaffrey won a pair of Super Bowls with the Broncos in the late 90s and this is Christian’s first chance to go against them as a pro.

“That was when I started to see what football meant to me, just watching [my dad] and being able to run around on the field after the game,” McCaffrey said, via Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. “To be playing against my dad’s former team, it makes things come full circle.”

McCaffrey has played just three games, but still leads the Panthers with six total touchdowns in 2020.