5 Carolina Panthers set for more playing time at the Cowboys in Week 4

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Tommy Tremble /
5 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Royce Freeman /

Royce Freeman – Carolina Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey isn’t going on the reserve/injured list, which is a bonus. But not having the running back for this key clash at AT&T Stadium is a body blow.

The All-Pro has carried the load more often than not this season. Something that simply cannot continue for much longer if the Carolina Panthers want to maximize the player’s production throughout the duration of his bumper new deal.

McCaffrey may miss a week or two, or it may be longer. Until then, rookie Chuba Hubbard will get the chance to showcase his skills as a starter after an encouraging display at the Houston Texans.

However, it wouldn’t be wise for the Panthers to give Hubbard a huge amount of carries considering this is a responsibility he’s never had before.

Fortunately for Carolina, they also have Royce Freeman to call upon if needed.

Freeman was claimed off waivers following his release by the Denver Broncos and offers more experience in an NFL setting than Hubbard. He rushed five times for 17 yards in Week 3 and also brought in his only reception for an eight-yard gain.

Not only this but Freeman’s productivity blocking cannot be overlooked in this situation. An area where McCaffrey thrives.

light. Must Read. 5 big winners from the Carolina Panthers’ trade for C.J. Henderson

Hubbard will be No. 1 on the depth chart in all likelihood. But don’t be surprised if the Panthers adopt a committee approach.