4 Washington players the Panthers should be concerned about

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Young
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Chase Young /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Antonio Gibson /

Antonio Gibson – RB

Antonio Gibson could be set to make his return to the Washington backfield against the Carolina Panthers, which is a big boost to their hopes of clinching a playoff spot this weekend. The running back has made a significant impact during his rookie campaign that could see the player become a focal point in the offense for years to come.

Gibson was seen more as a development prospect when Washington selected him in the third round out of Memphis. But it didn’t take long for the coaching staff to realize they had a special player on their hands.

His role has increased steadily before really assuming command of the backfield touches from Week 7 onwards. Gibson already boasts 892 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020, 659 of which have come on the ground.

The running back is averaging 4.7 yards-per-carry and has 16 broken tackles on rushes alone. Carolina’s run defense has improved dramatically this season – giving up just 119.1 yards-per-game – but Gibson poses a real problem for a unit that is set to be without prolific defensive end Brian Burns.

Gibson won’t get much joy running up the middle with Derrick Brown anchoring the interior. But backs have had some success getting out on the edge against the Panthers throughout the campaign.