4 most important players on the Panthers who are not starters in 2022

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes /
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Carolina Panthers
(Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) D’Onta Foreman /

D’Onta Foreman – Carolina Panthers RB

Christian McCaffrey’s situation remains a precarious one despite the running back returning to the practice field this offseason. However, one doesn’t have to look far to see what problems could emerge if the Carolina Panthers continue to give him more than 30 combined touches a game.

Thankfully, the presence of D’Onta Foreman means they might not have to.

Foreman signed on a cheap deal with the Tennessee Titans in free agency, where he came in pretty late in proceedings and filled in exceptionally well for the injured Derrick Henry. His ability to break off big yardage was evident and his patient approach coupled with outstanding contact balance are two other traits that can be put to good use in Carolina.

The former Texas star will obviously be the primary backup. But he should also generate some touches even if McCaffrey doesn’t get hurt for the third-straight season.

At the very least, Foreman can fill in for McCaffrey during short-yardage situations when runs in between the tackles are required. A best-case scenario could see the Panthers have a legitimate one-two punch for the first time in a while.

Carolina’s over-reliance on McCaffrey has come back to bite them over the last two seasons. Foreman’s presence and productivity are enough to suggest this doesn’t have to be the case in 2022.