5 young Panthers players with big opportunities under Steve Wilks
By Dean Jones
Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB
Matt Rhule and Chuba Hubbard will always be closely linked. The player became almost a source of ridicule after a video posted by the Carolina Panthers following the 2021 NFL Draft indicated that the head coach drafted him after a recommendation from his wife, something that saw his status within the franchise hanging in the balance prior to a much-needed change in direction.
Hubbard performed well in the absence of Christian McCaffrey as a rookie. Although it was evident much work was ahead for the fourth-round selection to improve key areas such as pass-catching, contact balance, and ball security.
With Rhule gone and McCaffrey traded to the San Francisco 49ers, Hubbard was the team’s starter at running back in Week 7. D’Onta Foreman also played a key role, but his performance versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was arguably the most complete and explosive we’ve witnessed so far.
The Oklahoma State product is dealing with a slight injury this week, which is disappointing. Hubbard will hope it doesn’t keep him out for too long as he looks to build on his newfound momentum under Steve Wilks.
There was more balance to Carolina’s offense without McCaffrey. Something that could allow the likes of Hubbard and Foreman to become more influential over the second half of the campaign.
But make no mistake, Wilks will give Hubbard every chance to prove he has a long-term future in Carolina.