4 emerging surprises from Carolina Panthers training camp in 2023

Training camp has thrown up some surprises for the Carolina Panthers so far.
Raheem Blackshear
Raheem Blackshear / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 4

Raheem Blackshear pushing for Carolina Panthers RB2?

After trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers and letting D'Onta Foreman walk in free agency, the onus is now on free-agent signing Miles Sanders to pick up the slack. The veteran is expected to occupy a three-down role as the Carolina Panthers look to better utilize his ability in the passing attack, which means opportunities for the likes of Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear could be limited.

This goes away from the trend around the league and how Carolina went about its business at the running back position over the second half of 2022. Hubbard proved capable with increased responsibilities as an NFL sophomore and looks in supreme physical condition this summer, but Blackshear has been arguably more impressive over the first few camp practices to potentially spark a competition for No. 2 on the depth chart.

Blackshear was an undrafted free-agent scooped up by Carolina from the Buffalo Bills practice squad, He performed well when called upon last season and also made his presence felt as a kick returner to further heighten his influence.

There is some work to do from a blocking standpoint. But the possibilities are endless as to how Blackshear can be deployed within an offense that should have more creativity attached in 2023.

If he keeps up this high-performance level throughout camp and when touches come his way during the preseason, the second-year pro could surge above Hubbard on the running back depth chart.