5 Panthers players with work to do after Week 1 vs. NY Jets

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB

It’s worth remembering that this was Chuba Hubbard’s first competitive NFL game. But that didn’t stop head coach Matt Rhule from being critical of the running back following Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Hubbard was used sparingly by the Carolina Panthers, who gave a heavy workload to Christian McCaffrey that eventually saw the All-Pro accumulate 30 combined touches in the win.

This was partly down to the face Hubbard missed a blocking assignment on a blitz, leaving Rhule and his staff wondering if the Oklahoma State star could be trusted in the event McCaffrey did need some time on the sideline.

In the end, they decided to keep McCaffrey on the field for almost the entire game. Something that might just cause problems from a health standpoint in the long run.

It was a steep learning curve for Hubbard. There’s no getting away from that.

Carolina brought in Royce Freeman off the waiver wire following his release by the Denver Broncos. So once he gets up to speed Hubbard could face a real fight on his hands for the primary backup role.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind where Hubbard is concerned is the smart route to go, so it was surprising to see Rhule throw him under the bus to a certain extent. But there’s no doubt things have to improve both carrying the football and recognizing pressure when it arrives.