Christian McCaffrey is out with a hamstring injury

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey briefly left last week’s game with calf cramps. Although he was listed as questionable to return, McCaffrey did.

He isn’t returning to Thursday night’s game.

The Panthers ruled him out early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, NFL Network announced during the broadcast. His final play was a 2-yard run out of bounds with 12:13 left in the half.

He finished his night with seven carries for 31 yards and two catches for 9 yards.

McCaffrey played only three games last season because of a high-ankle sprain and shoulder and thigh injuries.

The Panthers missed him last season, and they already have missed him tonight. Three plays after McCaffrey went inside the blue medical tent for examination, the Panthers faced a fourth-and-one from the Houston 5. Chuba Hubbard was stopped for no gain.

The Panthers lead 7-0.