4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 9 vs. Colts

- LT struggles

- Bryce Young's hits

- RB rotation

- Trade deadline fallout

Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers RB and return man rotation

Wonder when RB Tarik Cohen might get a shot in the rotation. Any thoughts? - Ronald Douglas

Great question, Ronald.

It still sounds like Tarik Cohen is still trying to return to playing condition after being out of football for a couple of years due to injuries. However, there were some images of him at practice wearing the number of former Carolina Panthers star running back Jonathan Stewart while practicing punt and kick returns.

Carolina is keeping a three-man rotation in their running back room, with the players going forward being Chuba Hubbard, Raheem Blackshear, and Miles Sanders. It doesn't sound like the Panthers will move off from that or add a fourth option to the active gameday roster.

If they did, that means special teams coordinator Chris Tabor would want to have Cohen in the return game. Basically what I'm saying is that Ihmir Smith-Marsette should not be handling punt return duties.

I have not been fond of Smith-Marsette in recent weeks. There are times when he attempts to return punts from deep inside Carolina territory only to put his team in a poor position.

Not only that, he'll also fair catch at times when there is a possibility the ball could bounce into the end zone for a touchback. This would allow the offense to begin their series from a respectable field position.

Cohen was considered one of the best punt returners in the league before injuries derailed his career. Is there still some magic in No. 28? I hope so, and it would be the best-case scenario for a Panthers special teams unit that should be considered one of the strongest groups on the team.

I would love to see Cohen get some chances at returning punts, though being away from the game for a few years can change a player for better or worse. Blackshear would be a great option, too. The former undrafted free agent was explosive on Sunday with great kick-off returns and totaling over 130 all-purpose yards.

Overall, don't expect Cohen to be on an NFL field anytime soon. Expect Blackshear to take over as the team's lead return man going forward while the Panthers roll with their current three-man running back rotation.