5 bold predictions for the Panthers at Colts in preseason Week 1

(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) P.J. Walker
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard shines and elevates to Carolina Panthers RB2

The 2020 campaign was a year to forget for Chuba Hubbard as he was riddled with injury and only amassed 625 rushing yards and five touchdowns from seven games.

However, his 2019 numbers of 2,094 yards and 21 scores are what many analysts thought would translate to a first or second-round selection.

The Carolina Panthers selected him in the fourth round and Hubbard is listed as RB3 on the first depth chart behind both Christian McCaffrey and Reggie Bonnafon. This is very early and not set in stone, but it was a head-scratcher nonetheless and something that might all change by the time Week 1 against the New York Jets rolls around.

Matt Rhule is well aware of Hubbard’s talent after seeing him during his days as Baylor’s head coach. So the rookie should have several opportunities early and often in his first NFL action to creep back into the backup running back picture.

Hubbard has to learn fast. Carolina needs to take some of the load from McCaffrey right out of the gate to prevent the same injury complications the All-Pro suffered in 2020 from reoccurring once again.

If Hubbard isn’t ready for this responsibility, somebody else will be. And there is no margin for error where the Panthers are concerned in 2021.