3 winners and 3 losers from the Carolina Panthers initial 53-man roster

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB

One of the smaller surprises of the initial 53-man roster was seeing how thin the Carolina Panthers decided to go at running back.

With star-back Christian McCaffrey returning from an injury-riddled season, Carolina will start the season with just three on the active roster. Rookie Chuba Hubbard and fourth-year Trenton Cannon were the other two until just recently.

Hubbard was the team’s fourth-round selection in this year’s draft. Cannon was expected to be used more like a speedy special teams guy, but he now finds himself looking for a new home after a potentially better option became available.

It’s not surprising that Hubbard won the backup roller. But it’s a little surprising that a veteran or another change of pace back was even left on the roster.

Rodney Smith, Reggie Bonnafon, Darius Clark, and Spencer Brown were the running backs let go. Bonnafon, who was the backup last year along with Smith, was released on an injury settlement.

So, if any of those guys were worth keeping, it would likely be Smith. Although the Panthers did claim veteran Royce Freeman following his release by the Denver Broncos.

McCaffrey will easily get the bulk of the carries barring more injuries. Hubbard should be expected to come in and help ease the workload more than any running back in the past two years has for the Panthers.