McCaffrey, who has already missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, is not eligible to return until Week 9.
The medical staff met Saturday and determined this was the best option for a full recovery for McCaffrey, whotried to go full speed this week and just couldn't do so without feeling the injury.
Rookie Chuba Hubbard again will be the starter for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Coach Matt Rhule was optimistic McCaffrey would return this week after practicing last week on a limited basis, but the Pro Bowl back was limited again Wednesday and didn't practice Thursday or Friday.
McCaffrey missed 13 games with three separate injuries last season after the Panthers made him the highest-paid back in the league with a four-year, $64 million extension.
ESPN's David Newton contributed to this report.
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