5 under-the-radar Panthers players that must step up at the Cowboys

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Royce Freeman /

Royce Freeman- Carolina Panthers RB

Finding the right balance without Christian McCaffrey is a monumental challenge for the Carolina Panthers. Especially when one considers how much the team relies on the All-Pro when healthy.

McCaffrey missing time again is something Carolina’s coaching staff dealt with plenty in 2020 after the former first-round pick featured in just three games. So they should have another contingency plan in place despite Mike Davis leaving for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

One expects rookie Chuba Hubbard to pick up the slack, although giving the first-year-pro too much responsibility with so little experience might not be the shrewdest move.

That’s why the production of Royce Freeman will be equally as important for the duration of McCaffrey’s latest spell off the gridiron. The veteran was acquired off waivers from the Denver Broncos and has been around the set-up long enough to know what’s expected from a playbook standpoint.

Neither Hubbard nor Freeman is going to get 30 combined touches like McCaffrey was doing constantly. But if the Panthers can generate some good numbers from a committee approach it will stand them in good stead.

Freeman knows his way around an NFL field and has been successful more often than not.

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Hubbard will get the headlines and was probably the No. 1 waiver wire addition in fantasy football this week, but ignore Freeman’s potential contribution at your peril.