6 shining stars from the Carolina Panthers first preseason game

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB

One thing is for certain after this.

Chuba Hubbard will not be the third running back on the Carolina Panthers depth chart.

The rookie made his presence felt with the carries that came his way, recording 80 rushing yards from seven touches despite holes being hard to come by more often than not. Hubbard broke off a couple of big runs and showed he has the physicality to cope against more imposing defenders at the next level, which was very encouraging from the Oklahoma State product’s perspective.

Hubbard will be tasked with providing the Panthers with a productive primary backup to Christian McCaffrey. His presence on the roster could also see offensive coordinator Joe Brady utilize some two-back sets to further open up the playbook in his second year in the role.

There wasn’t much to concern about Hubbard’s initial contribution. Sterner tests are surely coming in the regular season, but Carolina couldn’t have asked for much more on his opening taste of NFL action.

McCaffrey is returning to full health and remains the focal point after missing 13 games in 2020. However, if the same unfortunate events occur this time around, the Panthers have another potentially dynamic weapon to call upon.