McCaffrey will miss his sixth straight game after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2. He was pushing to play on Thursday, but the tailback suiting up was always considered a long shot.
The All-Pro tailback returned to practice at the beginning of the week and was given a designation to return from IR. However, Carolina erred on the side of caution due to the short week and the 24-year-old being unable to fully participate in on-field drills.
Veteran backup Mike Davis will get another start versus Atlanta. He's rushed for 284 yards and two touchdowns across seven games in 2020, adding 233 receiving yards and two scores through the air.
McCaffrey, who was initially given a return timetable of four-to-six weeks, will likely be available for next week's clash with the Kansas City Chiefs, Newton notes.
The Panthers have stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot despite losing their top offensive weapon, winning three of their last five games.