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Panthers activate Christian McCaffrey from IR, hope he's able to play in Week 9

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Rejoice fantasy managers who had the No. 1 pick, because your star player is back. The Carolina Panthers activated Christian McCaffrey from Injured Reserve on Saturday in hopes he'll play in Week 9, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

McCaffrey initially sustained the injury during the team's Week 3 game against the Houston Texans. McCaffrey injured his hamstring early in that contest, pulling it trying to ran past a defender. Despite losing McCaffrey, the Panthers won the game, 24-9.

It's been all downhill from there. McCaffrey missed five games due to the injury. The Panthers went just 1-4 over that stretch. McCaffrey initially hoped he would return to the lineup sooner, but experienced a setback prior to the team's Week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Panthers lost that game 34-28.

McCaffrey went on Injured Reserve following that setback, and was required to miss three games. Week 9 is the earliest McCaffrey could return to action.

The Panthers hope McCaffrey will play Sunday against the New England Patriots, but will make sure he gets through pre-game warmups unscathed before making that decision, according to Rapoport. 

Christian McCaffrey with the Panthers.
Christian McCaffrey might play in Week 9. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chicago Bears might get David Montgomery back in Week 9

McCaffrey isn't the only big-name running back set to return in Week 9. Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery has a "really good chance" to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday.

Montgomery injured his knee during the team's Week 4 game against the Detroit Lions. Montgomery returned to practice Thursday, paving the way for his return.

In Montgomery's absence, rookie Khalil Herbert performed well. It's assumed Montgomery will get the bulk of the carries once he's back, but Herbert may have worked his way into a limited role when both players are healthy.

49ers activate TE George Kittle before Cardinals matchup

The San Francisco 49ers are getting a key offensive weapon back in time for their Week 9 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers officially activated tight end George Kittle from injured reserve on Saturday.

Kittle has missed their last three games due to a calf injury, something he initially suffered in their season opener. After trying to play through it for the next three weeks, the 49ers finally sent him to injured reserve.

“I miss football,” Kittle said Friday, via ESPN. “I haven’t hit anybody in a long time. I’m excited to be out there being able to do that again.”

Kittle has recorded 227 yards on 19 receptions in four games so far this season, his fifth in the league.

The 49ers also brought kicker Robbie Gould off injured reserve after he had been out with a strained groin injury.

San Francisco, which has lost four of its last five games before last week’s win against the Chicago Bears, is listed as -3 favorites on BetMGM headed into Sunday’s contest against the Cardinals.

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