Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey missed two day of practice this week with a quad injury but hopes to play on Sunday. Rusty Jones/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers Coach Matt Rhule said he is “very hopeful” that running back Christian McCaffrey will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals after missing the last two days of practice with a quad injury.

McCaffrey returned to practice on a limited basis Friday and is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

McCaffrey ran, cut and caught passes during the 20 minutes of practice that were open to the media inside the team’s bubble.

“He looked good out there today,” Rhule said. “Unless something comes up I’m sure he will give his best chance to go. We are very hopeful.”

When asked how he feels and if he expects to play Sunday, McCaffrey replied: “I feel great.”

He repeated the same answer several times on various follow up questions, clearly not wanting to elaborate on his health.


When asked how he felt playing last week against the New Orleans Saints, McCaffrey said: “You are going to play with stuff. Things happen.”

McCaffrey missed 23 of 33 games the previous two seasons due to injuries.

SAINTS: Backup quarterback Andy Dalton is preparing to square off with Kirk Cousins again in London.

Dalton is expected to start after Jameis Winston was listed as doubtful for New Orleans’ game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Dalton took first-team snaps again with Winston missing a third consecutive practice because of a back injury.

The team’s injury report listed Winston (back/ankle) as doubtful for the NFL’s first international game of the season, while wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot), offensive guard Andrus Peat (concussion) and safety Marcus Maye (rib) were all ruled out.


VIKINGS: Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was listed as questionable for Minnesota’s game against the New Orleans Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium because of a knee injury.

First-year coach Kevin O’Connell said Smith will be a game-time decision.

Smith was limited in practice at the team’s temporary training facility next to its hotel 23 miles north of central London. He had missed the prior two practices before the Vikings left Minnesota.

Cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (quadriceps) was listed as doubtful for the NFL’s first international game of the season.

Running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) was a full participant for the second consecutive day. Cook leads the Vikings with 203 yards rushing. The Saints have allowed 145 yards or more on the ground in two of their first three games.

BROWNS: Myles Garrett knows he’s lucky. His life could be very different or even over.


Speaking to reporters for the first time since losing control and flipping his Porsche after practice on Monday, the Browns’ star defensive end promised to change his behavior after surviving a crash he caused by driving too fast.

“Definitely grateful to be here,” Garrett said after the Browns practiced without him.

Garrett sustained a sprained shoulder, strained biceps and cuts along with a ruptured blood vessel in his left eye during the single-car wreck on a rural road near his home following practice.

BRONCOS: Coach Nathaniel Hackett declared four players out for Denver’s game at Las Vegas on Sunday because of hamstring injuries.

Right guard Quinn Meinerz, who pulled a hamstring in the opener and aggravated it during practice this week, was ruled out along with receiver Tyrie Cleveland, linebacker Jonathan Cooper and cornerback Darius Phillips.

Also ruled out was right tackle Billy Turner, who has yet to suit up after underoing offseason knee surgery and missing most of training camp.

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