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Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey out for the season with ankle injury

Christian McCaffery was injured in the first half of Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Dolphins and played only sparingly after that.Eric Espada/Getty

The injury bug has gotten Christian McCaffrey yet again.

The Panthers often-injured running back will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, the team announced Monday.

McCaffrey had an MRI that revealed the injury was severe enough to put him on injured reserve. Because of his anticipated recovery time and given that it would be his second time on IR, McCaffrey will miss out on Carolina’s final five regular-season games following its bye week.

McCaffrey missed five games earlier this season with a hamstring injury.

He missed 13 games last season with various injuries, including seven with a high ankle sprain.

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The 2017 first-round draft pick was injured in the first half of Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Dolphins and played only sparingly after that.

It's the second straight year McCaffrey has ended the season on injured reserve. He played in just three games last season.

Since becoming the NFL’s highest-paid running back with a four-year, $64 million contract after an All-Pro season in 2019, McCaffrey will have missed 23 of 33 games in the last two seasons because of injuries.

Steelers LB Watt on COVID-19 list

The Steelers placed star outside linebacker T.J. Watt on the COVID-19 list.

Watt is the third high-profile member of the Steelers to go on the COVID-19 list in recent weeks. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick went into the COVID-19 protocol earlier this month.

Cowboys coach McCarthy in COVID protocol

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has entered COVID-19 protocols and won’t be on the sideline for Thursday night’s game in New Orleans.

McCarthy, who has said he is vaccinated, will be involved in all meetings virtually and will direct game preparations. McCarthy is the sixth Dallas coach or staff member to be sidelined for the game against the Saints.

There was no immediate word who would serve as interim coach on the sideline in New Orleans.

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The Cowboys had a COVID-19 outbreak in the preseason and early part of the regular season. There was a lull for about a month before cases ticked up again, starting with kicker Greg Zuerlein in early November.

Right tackle Terence Steele won’t play against the Saints after testing positive for COVID-19. Offensive line coach Joe Philbin and his assistant, Jeff Blasko, are out along with offensive assistant Scott Tolzien.

Cowboys DT Hill suspended for Thanksgiving fracas

The NFL suspended Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill for two games for confronting Las Vegas offensive lineman John Simpson and throwing a punch after the Raiders’ 36-33 overtime win on Thanksgiving.

Hill, who was sidelined the first eight games of the season while recovering from a torn knee ligament last year, will miss Thursday night’s game at New Orleans and the Dec. 12 game at Washington. He can return Dec. 19 at the New York Giants, the last of three consecutive road games.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said in a letter to the Hill that the third-year player spent nearly a minute at midfield after the game looking for Simpson and walked the opposite direction from the Dallas locker room to confront the Raiders’ left guard.

Browns right tackle Conklin out for season

Browns right tackle Jack Conklin will undergo surgery after suffering a season-ending right knee injury Sunday night at Baltimore, a crushing blow to a Cleveland offense struggling to score.

Conklin ruptured his patellar tendon while pass blocking in the first quarter against the Ravens, who held the Browns to a season-low 40 yards rushing in a 16-10 victory. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a tear.

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