The Panthers running back is now second-in-command at the position.
Cameron Artis-Payne has been waiting for his big break. He may finally get his chance. With the Carolina Panthers waiving C.J. Anderson, the organization now wants to take a look at Artis-Payne and see what he can do.
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Prior to the C.J. Anderson signing in the off-season, I thought that the 2018 campaign would be Payne’s big break. So far, that has not been the case as Christian McCaffrey has taken the bulk of the snaps at running back. However, Artis-Payne may get a real shot at some playing time. Per a report on Panthers.com, Artis-Payne is now the No. 2 running back, and this may be his first real shot at playing time. Although McCaffrey will still take the bulk of the snaps, there is a very good chance that Artis-Payne may see the field on Sunday.
By all reports, he has had a tremendous work ethic and has practiced hard day in and day out. I have to give him credit there, especially when he has only appeared in 23 games, including a playoff contest. Nevertheless, head coach Ron Rivera is ready to take a closer look at him as the running back prepares to assume his new role. With only 99 carries and 422 yards to show for it, there are certainly ample things for the coaches to evaluate.
"“We just haven’t had enough opportunities for him. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we have to find out. I’m excited for him,” Rivera said. “When you look at the things that CAP can do in comparison (to Anderson), they are very similar.“This is a little bit of a gamble, but we feel strongly enough about CAP that we wanted to give him this opportunity.”"
I don’t expect him to put together front-page-headline-type numbers. Especially with McCaffrey as the starter, Artis-Payne does not need to. However, I do expect him to make an impact, at least more than he has to this point in his career. This is a guy who is familiar with how the Panthers operate and their offensive system. Last season, his best game came in the Monday night affair against Miami. In that contest, he rushed the ball seven times for 68 yards and a touchdown. I think we will see more games like this from him in the future.
This could be the beginning of his opportunity to have the breakout season I was talking about back in April. He should get more carries and rush for more yards as the Panthers begin life with their new second-string running back. He doesn’t need to focus on being perfect every night. He just needs to be able to be a solid complementary piece for McCaffrey. Especially with the coaches thinking so highly of him, he has several things working in his favor.