CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have placed running back Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next three games because of a hamstring injury.

McCaffrey already has missed two games, both Carolina losses. The earliest he will be able to return to game action is Nov. 7 against the New England Patriots. McCaffrey will have missed 18 of 24 games because of injuries since becoming the league’s highest-paid running back following the 2019 season.

The Panthers (3-2) host the Minnesota Vikings (2-3) on Sunday. Chuba Hubbard will continue to start for McCaffrey, who practiced on Wednesday on a limited basis but was held out on Thursday and Friday.

COLTS: Indianapolis activated receiver T.Y. Hilton from injured reserve in time for Sunday’s game against Houston but will not have kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. Indy put Blankenship on injured reserve because of a hip injury. He will be out at least three weeks. Michael Badgley will replace Blankenship after being signed to the practice squad earlier this week.

Hilton has been on IR since early September, but he returned to practice Wednesday. The Colts are hoping the four-time Pro Bowler will be able to make his season debut against the division rival Texans. The former Florida International star is the fourth-leading receiver in franchise history. He has 608 receptions for 9,360 yards and 50 touchdowns in 10 seasons.

CAM NEWTON, the former New England Patriots quarterback, has been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the NFL Network.

Newton’s lack of vaccination became public when he was forced to quarantine late in Patriots training camp because he’d misunderstood testing rules related to when an unvaccinated player leaves a team facility. Newton had a doctor’s appointment outside of the region.

Newton, who struggled with passing accuracy in his one season as the Patriots’ starter in 2020, played well during preseason games this season and appeared to be on track to start over rookie Mac Jones. But Newton was a surprise cut when the roster was reduced to 53, and Jones was named the starter.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was adamant that vaccination status didn’t impact Newton or any other cuts. But as a free agent, being unvaccinated made Newton potentially less attractive to teams needing a quarterback.

TITANS: Tennessee will have outside linebacker Bud Dupree back for the first time in three games when they host the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.

The Titans did not have an injury designation Saturday on their final injury report for Dupree, who practiced fully after sitting out Friday. They will be without starting cornerback Kristian Fulton, whose hamstring kept him out of practice all week.

Dupree was Tennessee’s biggest free agent signing this offseason despite tearing his right ACL last December while playing for Pittsburgh.

RAVENS: Baltimore activated rookie receiver Rashod Bateman from injured reserve, and he’s eligible to make his NFL debut Sunday. Bateman, a first-round draft pick, hasn’t played yet for the Ravens because of groin problems. Baltimore hosts the Los Angeles Chargers this weekend.

The Ravens also activated offensive lineman Tyre Phillips from IR and elevated running back Le’Veon Bell and tackle Andre Smith from the practice squad.


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